That’s 120 billion pieces of plastic packaging from just one industry! Often it’s also made of mixed materials meaning – you guessed it – it goes to landfill. Plus, many beauty products contribute to microplastics that go straight down the drain and eventually into our water ways. 86% of the Great Barrier Reef is polluted by microplastics that might have come from your beauty routine. Here are our favourite alternatives that work just as well, minus the plastic.
Your exfoliating sponge seems innocent, but is it actually a dud washing bits of plastic down the drain? Those bits of plastic look like food to tiny marine life, who are eaten by larger marine life, and the plastic continues up the food chain to us! Keep your sponge on the outside, not the inside, choose natural instead.
The Konjac Sponge Co makes sponges from plant fibres, which means they’re completely natural and can even be composted at the end of their life! Their elements range also comes in plastic free packaging. There’s a sponge to suit every skin type, better skin with none of the plastic? Yes please! Members, you can get yours here.
Microbeads = Majorproblem
Microbeads are plastic beads under 5mm used in some face washes, toothpastes, scrubs, cosmetics and sunscreens. In 2014, the US washed 8 trillion microbeads into waterways every day! Research shows some marine life prefers these microbeads over their natural food, even though they then starve and die. The USA, UK, Canada, Taiwan and New Zealand are some countries who have banned microbeads to stop this. Australia is yet to ban them, so avoid microbeads where you can!
If you’re not sure if there are microbeads in your products, you can look for and avoid these ingredients:
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)
You can get the effect of microbeads with other natural exfoliating products. Sugar and honey combine to make an easy lip scrub, coffee and coconut oil combine into an exfoliating body scrub! Don’t have time to make your own? Lush Australia have all the natural scrubs you could need.
Bitter about glitter
Life is short, there’s no time to hate on glitter. Also, it would be difficult, since apparently our love for it is based on our instinct to seek out shimmering bodies of water. The same bodies of water that we’re filling with glitter and other microplastic! Glitter is plastic, and even though it’s been cut up to be teeny tiny, it still takes up to 400 years to break down.
Can’t go without some shimmery goodness? Just use this biodegradable version from Minimal Glitter instead! It uses a plant-based film derived from eucalyptus, making for a greener alternative.