A Bill To Ban Microbeads Will Be Debated In The Dáil Tomorrow

But WTF are microbeads and why should we avoid them?

Microbeads

The Green Party's Micro-Plastic and Micro-bead Pollution Prevention Bill 2016 is due to be debated in both houses of the Oireachtas tomorrow. The bill aims to ban the manufacturing and sale of microbeads in Ireland. 

The beauty world was abuzz a few months with news that the UK was attempting to ban microbeads – those teeny, tiny plastic particles that make your exfoliator, well, exfoliate.

They were invented by a Norwegian, Dr John Ugelstad, who essentially discovered how to make tiny plastic particles spherical, and are now found in a whole host of beauty and household items – for a scrub-like consistency.

Microbeads 2

A mere 30 years later, we've turned on John's invention (sorry, Johnny). Having discovered that it is impossible to filter every single microbead out of our water, and as we're now using so many of them – an estimated 808 TRILLION of these little dudes go down plugholes in the US each year – a huge amount of them end up in our seawater. 

From there, they get eaten by little fish, who in turn get eaten by bigger fish, who then get eaten either by us – so the microbeads end up going from someone else's dead skin into our own bellies – or by larger birds.

The end result? Unstoppable global pollution and serious, serious ickiness.

They're now banned in the US and Canada, with the UK calling for an imminent ban on those pesky little plastics, too. But don't worry – Vogue (of course) has done a handy breakdown of what you can use instead. So you can still have baby skin, with no little fishes harmed in the process.

Flounder Little Mermaid

Meanwhile Fiann Fáil also has a bill of its own to ban microbeads, and says that their bill is better than The Green Party's which, while moving in the right direction, is "too restricted". 

What are your thoughts on this proposed ban? 

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Written By

Rosemary MacCabe

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