Every time you brush your teeth you could be releasing thousands of microbeads and microplastics into the waterways, which could come back as part of the food chain and cause devastating harm to your system.

Studies have revealed that personal care products and toiletries contain thousands of microbeads and microplastics, that act as major absorbents for toxins as they move through the sewage systems, and as they’re too small to be filtered, enter the water ways, contaminating the water often consumed by humans. They are also ingested by fish and birds and enter the human system by this means too.

Studies in Western nations have created awareness about the enormous risks posed by these microbeads and microplastics, and big companies like Unilever, L’Oreal, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson have pledged to phase it out of their products by 2017.

However, there are no policy papers as yet on the subject here in India, despite a study by Professor Marcus Eriksen of the five Gyres Institute, Los Angeles, saying that “a quarter million tonne of plastic floats in our oceans there are about 5.25 trillion bits of plastic of all sizes and the vast majority some 4.8 trillion, are microplastics.” The Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal were two of the sources of Prof. Eriksen’s samples.

Manufacturers of beverages and snacks too use harmful polyethylene in their packaging, and though Coca-Cola and Pepsi have introduced biodegradable bottles in developed countries, they haven’t done so in India.

Source: http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com

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