Firstly, we should say bravo to Waitrose. The store is leading the way in the UK, as one of the first large companies to ban the sale of cosmetics products that contain microbeads and other harmful waste products like plastic cotton buds (they will replace them with biodegradable paper versions). The new rules come into effect from September and will drastically reduce the impact of so-called ‘plastic poison’ taking place in our oceans.
Small microbeads used in shower gels and body scrubs get washed down our sinks and plugholes and head straight for the sea, where fish and other animals ingest them. They are so tiny that even the most sophisticated sewage filters can’t catch them. It’s thought that the beads are harmful when swallowed and are causing immeasurable damage to marine life.
Now the government is playing its part to protect the environment by proposing an outright ban on the microbeads in our bathroom cupboards. A new law would prevent the products being purchased here in the UK. A ban is already in place in America. The government is currently waiting to find out if the EU will be amending its laws, but here in the UK we’ve made a good starting, asking cosmetics firms to voluntarily phase the beads out. Unilever claims to have started the process and L’Oreal says it will begin in 2017.
Dr Erik Sebille from Imperial College London told BBC News that microbeads make up a very low proportion of plastics use and that they probably only make a small contribution to plastic waste in the ocean. He added that: “A ban is about taking action to tackle ocean plastic pollution at its source - and this is the right way to address the problem”.
Even if it is only a small factor in the fight against ocean pollution, every little helps as far as we’re concerned. In fact, we’ll be ensuring there are no microbeads in any office soaps or scrubs right away!
Did you know Outlet is an environmentally-friendly property company? We do all we can to help the planet and reduce our carbon footprint as a business. Measures we take include walking wherever possible, recycling our paper and even planting a tree for every property we let or sell!
Give Outlet a call if we can help you with anything property related such as property management, property sales or lettings in London. We can also help you with lets with pets. Call 020 7287 4244 and one of our friendly team will be happy to help.