Exfoliating Plastic Beads Can Harm Marine Life

You Could be Killing Sea Turtles in Your Shower

What could possibly be wrong about body wash? One word: plastics. Know those exfoliating microbeads that wash away dead skin? Unfortunately, many of them contain polyethylene, a non-biodegradable plastic. Sewage treatment plants can't process these tiny particles, so they make it into our water streams. Once they hit the ocean, they often join giant garbage patches, which in turn can choke all kinds of marine life.

Even if the sea creatures survive, the trouble doesn't end there. Toxins from the plastic can seep into other areas of their bodies — and yes, throughout the food chain. Not good for sea turtles and fish, not good for you. If you want to wash up with a completely clear conscience, look for scrubs with biodegradable ingredients like flax, sugars, salts, or ground-up nuts. There's nothing fishy about that.

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