As mentioned here, cosmetics, clothes and plastic waste cause tons of dangerous micro plastic particles in our waters.
What to do about that?
- cosmetics: At first I wanted to suggest using self-made exfoliants like coarse salt mixed with almond oil – but the consequences of fat in the sewage system prohibit that. My only suggestion: look at the ingredients of facial scrubs, toothpastes and shower gels. If there is a “PE”, “PP” or “PMMA” in the product ingredients, don’t buy it. There have to be other cosmetics (maybe organic products) with natural ingredients such as ground-up apricot kernels, crushed walnut shells or dried coconut (has already been used before the late 1990) instead or without anything to exfoliate at all (why using toothpaste with microbads?).
- clothes: The rigorous solution would be using only clothes without synthetic fibre. A little step (and less expensive) would be paying heed to the fibre if you have to buy new clothes anyway, and otherwise use your clothes longer (or buy second-hand). It’s my hope that used clothes loose less microplastic during washing. Maybe one day there are washing machines able to filtering microplastic out of the waste water.
- Plastic waste: About limiting plastic waste I wrote already here and here. In addition: use recycling systems (take your waste back with you if there is nothing available) and make sure that recycling bins cannot be blown away.
Every little step counts.
EDIT: If there are no acronyms in the product ingredients, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, acrylics or nylon are names of plastics used as microbeads, sometimes in addition to the advertised ground-up apricot kernels.