Big multinationals to phase out plastic microbeads in
personal care products
Positive move will help to reduce plastic pollution in Australian
The phase out of the tiny plastic beads used in facial scrubs and
exfoliants is gathering pace. As concern grows about the
environmental impact of plastic microbeads, the Australian arms of
two multinational companies have confirmed that they're phasing
Unilever will start their final phase out of
plastic microbeads within two months.
In a statement sent to Do Something, Unilever
"In Australia and around the world, Unilever is in the process
of phasing micro-plastics out of our personal care products. We
have been exploring suitable alternatives that will deliver the
same performance without the need to use plastics. We will begin
the next-stage of the phase out in January and expect to be
complete by 2015."
This week, Do Something also received correspondence from
L'Oreal Australia stating that:
"The Group will have phased out all polyethylene microbeads
from its scrubs by 2017."
At the bottom of Sydney's Middle Harbour, scientists have found up
to 60 fragments of microplastics per 100 milligrams of sediment.
These are amongst the highest levels recorded. These
microplastics can be ingested by worms which in turn can be
consumed by fish.
The State of Illinois has banned the sale of plastic microbeads in
personal care products. Do Something Founder Jon Dee and
NSW Environment Minister Rob Stokes are both calling on personal
care companies to phase out the use of plastic microbeads by the
end of 2016.
Mr Dee said other companies should follow Unilever's positive
"If a global organisation like Unilever is able to phase out
microbeads from next January, then there's no reason why other
companies shouldn't join them," he said.
"When Australians use products containing plastic microbeads,
they can contaminate the marine environment," said Mr Dee. "These
tiny pieces of plastic are going straight down the plughole and
into our waterways. It's a problem that we need to fix."
Want to see if a product contains microbeads?
By downloading the free 'Beat The Microbead' app,
consumers can scan the barcode of products at home or in the
shopping aisle to see if they contain plastic microbeads. The app
is available free of charge for Apple, Android and Windows phones
To download the Microbeads Media Release click here.
To view The Sun-Herald Newspaper
Article click here.