Plastic Beads in Unilever SkinCare Affecting Marine Life

I was shocked, incensed, and disgusted today to read that Unilever has been putting plastic microbeads in its skincare scrubs which are now are in such numbers that they are adversely affecting marine life.

As a resident of this earth where I live, drink the water, eat food including at times marine life, it incenses me that Unilever has been treating the earth as a junkyard.

In a 2008 study, it was found that such microbeads stay in marine mussels for approximately 48 days. This gives ample time for them  to be ingested higher up the food chain.  Yes this includes humans.  And this issues affects oceans and lakes.  As a resident living on a Great Lake, I was intrigued with this blog post I found about these plastic beads being found in the Great Lakes.  So am I drinking theses things??

The microbeads are made from polyethylene and should be noted as such on the ingredient dec. of products in case you want to see if you have any of the suspect stuff.  A quick check of the Skin Deep database will confirm which scrubs contain polytheylene beads.

An issue that is of ‘immediate concern’ according to a CNN report is these plastic particles ability to absorb contaminant chemicals in the water. The plastics have a large surface area compared to their volume so readily soak up other pollutants in our waterways and oceans. The fact marine life ingests these particles laden with all sorts of junk spilled into our waterways create an even greater problem. Who has just lost their appetite for seafood?

A number of years ago, I was at an environmental/sustainability conference in Toronto and one of the ‘high ups’ from Unilever was there touting their environmental initiatives.  As people clapped around the room, the guy speaking beamed as he spoke about Unilever’s noteworthy environmental accomplishments.  Now years later, I feel lied to, bamboozled. Shame on you Unilever for treating our earth and its residents poorly.

Unilever has posted on its site its commitment to clean up its act by 2015. Two years! How much more damage will be done by then?  I have decided I am out for good and will not buy their products anymore.  Speak with your wallet and they may get the picture. Here is a list of Unilever products/brands to help make your buying decisions more informed.

And if you want to know a totally natural exfoliating wash with NO plastic beads, my fave is Cocoon Apothecary’s Petal Purity Exfoliating Cleanser which uses jojoba beads to exfoliate.  The scent is divine and of course the product is all natural.


One thought on “Plastic Beads in Unilever SkinCare Affecting Marine Life

  1. With so many types of exfoliants available, you really would think that Unilever would make a better choice. At GRAYDON – Clinical Luxury by Nature, we are partial to using finely ground pumice and black silica. Super excited to announce that we will have an outstanding new masque/scrub containing these items (as well as kaolin and spirulina) within the next month or two!

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