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For a good four years now, a new term in environmental protection has been gaining increasing popularity and importance - microplastics. Odorless, in most cases invisible to the naked eye and, like plastic, not naturally degradable, this form of plastic poses a great danger, especially for all sea creatures and ultimately also for us humans. In the following lines we will tell you where this substance comes from and what we as consumers can do to combat microplastics in cosmetics and clothing in particular.

Microplastics in cosmetics get into the sea through the water cycle

What is microplastic?

Simply explained, these are tiny pieces of plastic made from petroleum, ranging in size from 5mm - 0.001mm. One speaks of primary and secondary microplastics. The primary ones are the so-called plastic pellets, which are used in industry in the manufacture of plastic products.

This also includes the fine plastic granules and the liquid plastic substances that are used in cosmetics such as peelings, creams, shower gels or toothpaste. As already mentioned above, microplastics are not degradable.

The problem: with the rainwater and sewage, this gets into the rivers via the sewage system and finally into the ocean. The water treatment plants are not yet able to filter out the tiny particles from the wastewater, so millions of tons of microplastic are constantly being distributed in water and soil worldwide.

Tiny plastic particles harmful to nature and animals

Animals often mistake the microplastics in the sea for food and eat it up, with devastating consequences. Many die from it or suffer from severe inflammation. In most cases, these are also caused by the fact that countless pathogens and pollutants accumulate on the surface of the plastic particles. Needless to say, microplastics logically enter our bodies through the food chain. The consequences have not yet been sufficiently researched and proven, but this can hardly be done in a he althy way be. One should also consider that the tiniest particles could possibly penetrate through the cell walls in the body and cause serious diseases.

Plastic pellets are manufactured for the industry of numerous plastic products

What can you do against microplastics in cosmetics?

Even the idea of eating plastic just feels uncomfortable. So what can you actually do about it? Become an active consumer!

When shopping for cosmetics, you should pay particular attention to ingredients such as:

  • polyethylene
  • polypropylene
  • Polyamides
  • Polyacrylamide
  • Acrylic Copolymer
  • Dimethiconol

In addition, download a microplastic app, such as CodeCheck, and look at BUND's list of products that contain microplastics and simply never buy them.

The small plastic particles can be replaced by natural substances in natural cosmetics

The good news:

Many manufacturers, especially from the organic cosmetics industry, show in their products how microplastics can be completely replaced by natural substances. In addition, some countries in Europe and Canada have already banned cosmetic products that contain microplastics. An official EU ban is also expected to come into force this year.

Once distributed in rivers and seas, microplastics cannot be removed

Make your own cosmetics without microplastics

In addition to responsible consumption, you can act even more actively and produce your own cosmetics without microplastics. With a few simple home remedies and valuable natural substances, this task is not only a lot of fun, but also protects the environment and, in many cases, your wallet. For example, stop buying conventional shower gel in a plastic bottle and prefer an organic soap or make your own microplastic-free shower gel yourself.

Here at you will also find two simple instructions on how to prepare shampoo without microplastics and toothpaste without microplastics.

A he althy toothpaste can be prepared with coconut oil, baking soda and xylitol

Also interesting:

According to a current study by the Fraunhofer Institute, the abrasion of Car tires are one of the largest sources of microplastics. Another scientific study in Germany recently showed that there is even microplastic in the snow. Unfortunately, this means that the smallest particles of plastic are so light that they can fly in the air and end up in the lungs when inhaled. This opens up another dimension of the problem with microplastics and gives us even more reasons to think globally and act responsibly.

In this sense: Avoid microplastics in cosmetics!

Peeling and creams in particular often contain plastic particles

Many make-up manufacturers still use microplastics in their products

Plastic residues in nature become secondary microplastics over time

Unfortunately, this can be seen on many beaches worldwide

Don't be indifferent to the welfare of animals and the environment!

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