Microplastics: from must-have to hated cosmetics ingredient

Microbeads – found in many cosmetics products – are a significant environmental hazard, but they are just a small part of Ireland’s plastic waste problem

Microbeads are found by the hundreds of thousands in shower gels, face-scrubs and toothpastes

Microbeads are found by the hundreds of thousands in shower gels, face-scrubs and toothpastes

Microbeads, tiny pieces of plastic found by the hundreds of thousands in shower gels, face-scrubs and toothpastes, were once trumpeted as a cosmetic “must have” – a crucial ingredient in the battle for beauty. Now they have become a hated ingredient.

The US, Canada and the Netherlands have banned them from cosmetics because of their potential impact on the environment, and the UK is preparing to ban them from the end of 2017.

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