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Good Scrub Guide. Credit: Roger Ingle/FFI.

Scrub it out! Take the pledge and say “no” to plastic pollution

Posted on: 10.10.14 (Last edited) 9 October 2014

People power will help us put a stop to microplastic pollution – a major threat to ocean wildlife.

Fauna & Flora International and the Marine Conservation Society have launched a new campaign called Scrub it out!, which invites people like you to take a pledge and speak out against the unsustainable use of plastic microbeads in your cosmetics and toiletries.

Unbeknown to most consumers, tiny pieces of plastic can be found lurking in a whole host of everyday products – from toothpastes to bubble bath, soaps and scrubs. Almost invisible to the naked eye, these tiny pieces of plastic (or ‘microbeads’, as they are more commonly known) are purpose-designed to wash down the drain after use.

Seal. Leigh Howarth.

Plastic microbeads, which are found in many products, can harm marine wildlife. Credit: Leigh Howarth.

Unfortunately, because they are so small, it is impossible to prevent these microplastics from travelling straight from our bathrooms into rivers and out to sea. And scientific evidence has shown that, once there, they can seriously threaten marine wildlife.

The good news is that help is at hand. Recognising that there is a clear and simple solution to this unsustainable, unnecessary pollution, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has teamed up with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) to produce the Good Scrub Guide to help you make informed decisions about the products you buy.

Launched by FFI in 2013, the Good Scrub Guide provides clear, non-biased information that highlights the wide-range of microbead-free products available on the UK market.

We need your help

But for this to really work, we need your help. Please take the Scrub it out! pledge and tell the world that you want to see an end to plastic microbeads in cosmetic health and beauty products.

Your support will help us convince UK businesses that their customers don’t want to wash plastic microbeads down the drain. By working together, we are confident that we can eliminate this source of marine pollution.

Being microplastic-free is easy:

  1. Consult the Good Scrub Guide, to find plastic-free products and learn more about microplastic pollution
  2. Download the App and you can simply scan a product barcode to find out if it contains plastic microbeads
  3. Keep an eye out for five main ingredients – look closely at the ingredient list and make sure you are avoiding Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Polyethyl Terephthalate, Polymethyl Methacrylate and Nylon
  4. Found something we don’t know about? Let us know what’s in your product and help us improve the App
  5. Above all else – take the pledge to Scrub it out! and encourage your friends to do the same
Written by
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Tanya Cox

Tanya has recently joined FFI to help develop a new programme of work addressing the extent and impact of marine plastic pollution. With a master’s degree in Oceanography, Tanya has a broad understanding of oceanic and atmospheric systems and a keen interest in climate change, marine ecology and biodiversity conservation. She has worked in Europe, Africa and the Middle East in project management, research and monitoring, environmental education and the design of community outreach programs and conservation initiatives. Tanya has experience of habitat assessments (reef, seagrass, seabirds and fish), water quality monitoring and the design of marine turtle conservation and monitoring programmes.

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