Plastic Microbeads, the tiny particles used in facewash and other cosmetics as exfoliating agents, are finally being banned in the US due to their role in polluting the country’s water supply and harming marine life.
The microspheres that you rub on your skin are made of polythylene or other petrochemical plastics, do not dissolve in water and are too tiny to be filtered, hence acting as major pollutants. They are also used in toothpastes, and hence several cosmetics will face a ban.
The decision came months after a study published in Environmental Science & Technology in September pointed out that microbeads enough to cover 300 tennis court surfaces, were entering the water supply daily.
Other than the US, Netherlands has taken measures to get rid of Microbeads by 2016, and there have been demands for a similar ban in the UK following President Obama’s nod to it in the US.