What are Micro and Polymer beads?
Plastic micro or polymer beads are found in many soaps, scrubs and facial washes and although only tiny (less than 5 millimeters to be exact) they are much more sinister than one would expect. In fact the threat is so strong the UK government has chosen to ban the use of microbeads in cosmetics by the end of 2017. As a result, Crystal Clean Service have taken the decision to phase out these harmful substances with immediate effect.
Studies have shown that the micro plastics form a major part marine waste and are extremely damaging to aquatic life. This is primarily due to the fact they do not degrade naturally and could remain in our water systems for over 100 years. 10 million tonnes are estimated to be present in the world’s oceans, resulting in plastic debris being the single greatest contributor to debris in the marine environment.
A large surface area means the particles have the ability to absorb other harmful chemicals which can in in turn be digested by marine life. Moreover, they can be absorbed into the tissue of invertebrates and remain there for up to 48 days.
Not only do they get into our water systems through cosmetic materials but also through pellets spilled during the manufacturing of plastics and from the degradation of larger plastic debris. In the US alone, up to 1,200 cubic metres of microplastic beads are washed down the drains each year.
What this means to our clients
Many suppliers are now altering the way they package their new polymer free products, supplying them in cartridges dispensers which often work out much more expensive. However, at Crystal Clean Service we have managed to source bulk fill polymer free product, to avoid any increase in price.
Switching to products that do not contain these harmful substances will in no way affect the quality of our work, it will however work towards fostering sustainability within the cleaning industry and safe guarding the environment. We therefore hope other companies are just as quick to follow suit.