Today, The Guardian announced that the US government will be banning the usage of microbeads in a historic piece of legislation called the Microbead Free Waters Act. Starting July 1, 2017, microbeads will begin to be phased out of personal care products as a means to help prevent further pollution in our lakes and oceans. With this bill rolling out, it’s curious to see how people perceive microbeads and whether or not they understand the environmental effects these little beads have. Below are some of their responses found in a recent Reddit thread.
User budgiebum was taken aback by the large-scale effects of such tiny plastics stating, “Yeah I thought they were like... little scrubbers to exfoliate the skin within the soap to double scrub your skin and that they dissolved. I feel bad for using soaps with them now.”
User tatertatertatertot is happy with the change and is celebrating the government’s initiative to keep our environment clean: “I am happy that small, but fairly substantive and meaningful, policies like this still manage to get through Congress with bipartisan support. And that not everything becomes like that 'feds are confiscating our light bulbs' fight because of posturing or corruption.
This is a good regulation/law, and it's actually going to be passed. Glad it still happens sometimes.”
User whollyhemp is an owner of a soap/skin care company and helps give us insight into the perception of microbeads in the personal health product atmosphere: “It's about time. I own a soap/skin care manufacturing company and from day one I refused to use these plastic microbeads. Everyone else in the industry saw absolutely no problem with flushing environmentally destructive plastic beads down our drains, and for the longest time us bead ban proponents were seen as crazy hippies.
When you hear these companies say 'recent reports show that these beads are destructive' they are lying. Industry leaders have known for years the damage done by microbeads, and I'm not talking about some crackpot hippie blog, there were articles and studies about the dangers and destruction of microbeads going back years and since money trumps all, the companies just feigned ignorance and continued to pump out these products.
Even now, in my home state of CA which just passed a [statewide] microbead ban, companies are allowed to continue manufacturing and selling these products over the next year.
Because while we recognize they are doing irreversible damage to the environment, I guess their potential profitability and the need to deplete stock/inventory is more important than clean water.”
Last, but not least, user challenge4 stated the most obvious question we've all been asking ourselves: "Who was the ***hole who thought putting trash in soap was a good idea?"
For readers interested in purchasing personal hygiene products that refuse to incorporate microbeads, Robert Lestak runs an online shop called Wholly Hemp utilizing natural ingredients in an array of products ranging from sea salt shower scrubs to pink grapefruit soap. His shop can be found here.
All users have been contacted to use their comments in this post. Any persons declining to be quoted will have their comment and contacts removed.