A team of researchers at the Oregon State University have conducted a study and come to the conclusion that each day sees almost 808 trillion plastic microbeads entering water bodies in the US. For those who don’t know: the term microbeads is used for tiny particles boasting abrasive functions.
The past few years have seen use of microbeads in beauty and personal care products increase significantly; researchers are saying that this increase might have had a strong impact on our environment. These days, microbeads are used in all kinds of products from toothpastes to face washes.
The most significant problem with microbeads is their size. These structures are extremely petite in size and thus can pass through all common filtering systems quite easily. Eventually, they enter the water bodies. The sewerage treatment plants in operation currently cannot filter microbeads. As a result, with time, these tiny structures lead to an environmental hazard.
With as many as 808 trillion tiny plastic pieces entering in US water bodies alone, it is not hard to imagine the kind of impact these petite structures are having globally.
To help our planet get rid of this problem, a large number of companies around the globe have committed that they will stop using microbeads in their products within a few years. However, the frequency of use of microbeads has not yet dropped much.
The past few years have seen microbeads turn into one of the most significant parts of plastic pollution, which is the threatening quality of water used by animals, plants and humans.
A research team represented by scientists from seven different institutions has informed that there are biodegradable, nontoxic alternatives for microbeads and companies must be pushed enough for using those materials in their products.
Body wash, shampoo, face wash, toothpaste and some scrubbers with abrasive properties contain microbeads. Manufacturers include the tiny structures into these products for giving them a gritty texture. Microbeads are only as big as a regular sized sand grain, as a result of which they get drained out easily when we use products that contain these tiny particles.
As it is extremely difficult to get rid of microbeads, researchers at the Oregon State University have recommended that states must consider a new legislation that would ban use of microbeads.