When you use exfoliators, shaving creams, hair products, make-up or other personal care products and cosmetics, you might pollute our environment with microplastic. Microplastic is small plastic particles, which is not naturally degradable and harm marine animals. One scrub can contain up to several hundred of thousand pieces of microplastic, and research estimates that up to 40 tons of microplastic from personal care products and cosmetics is released each year to the Baltic Sea alone. In Denmark 29 tonnes of microplastic is used annually for cosmetics, while the EU use a total of 4130 tons each year. A large proportion ends up in the sewage sludge, where Denmark uses a large fraction of this for fertilizing farmland, while the rest is released with the wastewater directly to the sea.
Fortunately, there are natural alternatives to microplastic, and many producers have never used microplastic, while others have phased out or are working on phasing out microplastics from their products. However, microplastic is still present in many products today, and it is hard for consumers to avoid it. We now have the solution, and our ultimate goal is to completely eliminate this source of microplastic pollution – as quickly as possible.
About the App
The 'Beat the Microbead' APP has already been implemented in more than 20 countries worldwide and now Denmark has finally joined the international campaign and implemented the app with a Danish database. This means that Danish consumers can now download the free app, which through a scanning function guides the consumers to avoid products containing microplastic. The use of microplastic in personal care products and cosmetics is today completely legal in the EU, and hence the products in the app is also legal on the market. Until we succeed with a ban in the EU, we want to give Danish consumers a real choice for easily being able to choose care products that does not contribute to plastic pollution in our environment.
Photo: Henrik Hamrén, Baltic Eye
In collaboration with The Danish Ecological Council we have launched a petition in Denmark for Danish consumers, which will be used actively to push on Danish political engagement. With a common and loud voice from the Danish consumers, we will ask the Danish Minister for Environment and Food to play a lead role in gathering the European countries for a joint legislation. In close collaboration with our international partners such as Plastic Soup Foundation and Fauna & Flora International we aim to succeed with getting a solid and loop-hole-free ban against the use of microplastic in care products and cosmetics in the EU.
Plastic Soup Foundation and Stichting De Noordzee have initiated the international campaign Beat the Microbead including development of the App with support from Fauna & Flora International, Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Environment, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), The Bodyshop Foundation and Neal's Yard Remedies. The App has been implemented in more than twenty countries, and the international campaign is supported by over 85 ngo’s from all over the world.
The Danish campaign is led by Plastic Change and the Danish Ecological Council, who is also administering the Danish database for the App.
Have a look at the 'Beat the Microbead' website and get more info on the international campaign and how the App works. Here are also complete product lists for each country.
The Danish Ecological Council