Biodegrade in a matter of seconds

Sugar and salt will dissolve in the time it takes to read this sentence.

Never biodegrade

If there were plastic microbeads present during the Big Bang - 13.8 billion years ago - they would still be here today.

What’s the problem?

The destructive effect of microbeads on our environment is becoming common knowledge. These tiny pieces of plastic wash down our drains and into our rivers and oceans. As with all plastic, they attract and concentrate toxic chemicals from their surroundings. The microbeads enter our food chain when they are consumed by fish. These fish are then eaten by larger fish, which can end up on our own dinner plates along with the toxic chemicals in the microbeads.

What's the solution?

Microbeads in beauty products have already been banned in many countries in an attempt to protect our oceans and our food chain. There are a number of alternatives which are not only better for the environment, but kinder to our skin too.

Sugar and salt both work like microbeads to exfoliate our skin. Facial exfoliators can be made easily at home – it can be as simple as honey and sugar – and they’ll taste great too. If DIY isn’t your thing, all products on UK shelves are now free of microbeads, so companies are already finding safer alternatives.