Snob Essentials

Widespread Ban on Plastic Microbeads in Scrubs Possibly on the Horizon

Widespread Ban on Plastic Microbeads in Scrubs Possibly on the Horizon

It’s no secret that big companies more often than not try to cut costs with no regard to the effects on the planet or even the consumer as long as it helps their bottom lines. That’s exactly why a few years ago a number of them started using plastic exfoliating beads in their facial and body scrubs – versus natural products like coffee grounds or nuts. The result? Billions of plastic microbeads have now polluted waterways and poisoned fish (the beads soak up toxins in the water which are then absorbed by fish who mistakenly eat the beads thinking they’re food). A few weeks ago it was announced that Illinois will become the first state to ban the manufacture of products with these microbeads by the end of 2018 and the sale of them by the end of 2019. New York and California legislatures are considering similar bans, but until then we can all do our part and avoid any and all scrubs with plastic beads in them – it’s so easy there really is no excuse, plus natural exfoliants not only are more effective, they’re better for your skin and you’ll find plenty of them even in drugstores. Case in point: Nuance’s new Walnut Facial Scrub (at CVS), which retails for just $7.99 and uses fine crushed walnut shells to scrub away dead skin cells.


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  1. Why does it take so little time for companies to introduce these environmentally destructive ingredients into their products, but it takes 4-5 years to get them out of products? Why 5 years to ban the sale of something that is known to be harmful to the environment? Shaking my head.

    Is there a “scientific” term for these microbeads so that we can identify them on the ingredient lists?