What Are Microplastics?

What are Microplastics?

Microplastics are tiny plastic fragments that measure less than 5 millimeters in size. They are created either through the breakdown of larger plastic objects, or deliberately manufactured.

Microplastics pose a significant threat to both the environment and living organisms. They accumulate in oceans, rivers and lakes, as well as soil and even the air. Microplastics are ingested by marine life, wildlife and plant species, causing physical harm and greatly disrupting ecosystems. Last year it was discovered that microplastics have entered the human food chain, as they were found in the human body for the first time. They can enter the body via ingestion of contaminated seafood and drinking water, and inhalation of airborne particles.

Various sources contribute to the presence of microplastics including fibres shed from synthetic clothing, microbeads found in personal care products and the breakdown of larger plastic items.

Microbeads are tiny plastic particles that were commonly used in scrubs, body washes and cleansers. In an effort to tackle plastic pollution and protect marine ecosystems, the EU and many other countries have banned the use of microbeads in personal care products.

Synthetic clothing is a significant source of microplastic pollution. Consumers looking to make ethical choices are opting for garments made from natural fabrics, or choosing to purchase from brands that employ sustainable materials and production methods.

One common type of microplastic that is often overlooked is glitter. Traditional glitter is made from tiny plastic particles, that have been coated in reflective or metallic materials. Choosing biodegradable glitter over traditional plastic glitter benefits the environment in several ways. Biodegradable glitter breaks down naturally over time and will not accumulate in ecosystems. Biodegradable glitter is made from plant-derived materials such as cellulose, which can be processed sustainably and does not require the use of fossil fuels.

The increasing presence of microplastics in the natural environment demonstrates the growing issue of plastic pollution. On the 17th October 2023, the EU began restricting the sale of microplastics, in order to tackle the growing damage they are doing to the environment. This ban includes loose plastic glitter.

Biodegradable glitter is the eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic glitter. Switching to biodegradable glitter is an easy way for consumers to reduce their plastic waste.

Anam Cosmetics’ products are 100% microplastic free. 

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