Plastics Beads, Walnut Shells, and Fish

In a world of consummation and mass production, the motto is more with less. How can a company make more products with less money? Sometime, this way of thinking can lead to us using products that might not be the best for us and the environment.

A good example would be the microbeads situation in the cosmetic world. These little beads are made of plastics and are no longer than 5 millimeters of diameter. They are mostly used in body wash, exfoliant… They have a polish rounded shape and are capable are polishing and cleaning the top surface of the skin called stratum corneum. The positive side, as consumers, is that those microbeads are made of inorganic compounds, which means it can’t interact with the chemistry of the skin. However, on the negative side, those microbeads found in cosmetics wind up in water and pollute our lakes and rivers. They are particularly a threat to birds and fish. When those animals eat the plastic beads, it prevents them from getting actual nutrients and to block their stomach.

A good alternative for cosmetics is the use of organic material such as rice, walnut shells, etc. Those materials are actually more efficient for the skin as an exfoliant and safe for the environment. If this is the case, why use those microbeads when better alternatives could be use? The production of microbeads is cheaper than using organic compound which means they get a better profit the product is sold. If the production becomes more expensive, the products will either cost more or the company will gain less money. Companies should not sacrifice the environment in order to make more money. They also should provide the best product they could which would mean replacing plastic microbeads by organic compounds.


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