Would you ever chew on a plastic grocery bag and spit the broken-up bits down the drain? Neither would I… knowingly.
However, much to my surprise, when I opened my new tube of Crest Pro-Health toothpaste, I was surprised and disappointed to find it filled with basically the equivalent… microbeads!
Microbeads are small pieces of plastic that are being used in cosmetic products, including face
wash, hand soap and toothpaste. The issue has been well articulated in other blogs and articles, but in short, these tiny pieces of plastic get washed down the drain and are finding their way into rivers, lakes and oceans due to the fact they cannot be removed in wastewater treatment plants because they are so small.
So, why are they in toothpaste? For decorative purposes only! To add colour and texture. They do not break down in your mouth or help to clean your teeth. In fact, in some cases they are being found by dental hygienists in patient’s mouths, embedded in their gums, leading to irritation and tooth decay.Once they are in the water bodies they are being ingested by fish and other organisms… toxins being passed along the food chain. Not good.
Needless to say, I did not want this in my mouth or in my bathroom. Because it was a new tube of toothpaste I still had the receipt. I took it back to the store where I purchased it, explained to the nice lady why I was returning the toothpaste (educating her in the process), and got my money back. I also sent Crest an email urging them to remove the microbeads from this and other products, and that I will be making a concerted effort to NOT purchase anything made by Proctor & Gamble until that is done. I also told them I’d tell all my friends, so here we are.
In the future I will be looking for the word polyethylene in any product I purchase, and educating myself on what other products contain microbeads. I will also join the International Campaign Against Microbeads in Cosmetics and download the app so I can easily search products in the store while I’m shopping.
What are you doing to steer clear of microbeads? Share your story in the comments section!