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Thread: Exfoliants, a.k.a, tiny bits of plastic that fish are eating

  1. #1
    Manchineel's Avatar
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    Jun 2012

    Default Exfoliants, a.k.a, tiny bits of plastic that fish are eating

    Has anyone read "The World Without Us" by Alan Weisman?

    I've just finished reading the chapter "Polymers Are Forever" and I want to scream in despair at the amount of plastic we, humans, have created in the last 50 years.

    I mean, it's nothing we don't already know. Plastic doesn't bio-degrade. Every single bit of plastic ever made is still in the environment somewhere. Even those little "exfoliating" balls in toothpaste, neutrogena and clearasil are PLASTIC. Which goes down the drain, into the sea for sea creatures to NOT digest when they swallow them. I just despair at how these kind of products are allowed! Even in the most compassion-less and selfish sense, our existence depends on the ecosystem we are catastrophically destroying.

    I just feel so powerless with this kind of thing. Raving about it to people who don't care, and buying all my "faith in nature" cosmetics and non-toxic cleaning products does nothing to the fact these products EXIST. And I just come across as a tree hugging hippy to most people, living in a world were a tree hugging hippy is a negative thing.

    Gah. Needed to rant. Has anyone/ does anyone go beyond merely boycotting animal products/ products that harm animals and the environment and actually write to companies? I hate this hopeless feeling.

  2. #2
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Apr 2004

    Default Re: Exfoliants, a.k.a, tiny bits of plastic that fish are eating

    Hello, I haven't written to companies about exfoliants because I didn't know about the problem (I also don't think I use any of the products in question) but I often do write about things that I don't like. Not much usually happens in the short term, but if you don't write they won't know you care. So I would go for it.

    I'm sure Lush does exfoliants where the particles are bits of nutshell or something. So it's not as if they had to use plastic to get the required effect. Apart from anything else, I should think rubbing your teeth with little balls of plastic would wear them down in no time :-o

  3. #3
    zazu's Avatar
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    Nov 2012

    Default Re: Exfoliants, a.k.a, tiny bits of plastic that fish are eating

    I'm not happy about the plastic situation either- and I try to avoid it as much as I can, but it's difficult when so many things are made of plastic or plastic-like material.

    For example, I've recently started experimenting with making my own products (1. to have all-natural chemical-free products that are good for my and the environment, & 2. to reduce the waste of having to buy even all-natural products in a plastic bottle every time I run out).

    But it's hard, especially since I moved, because even things back home that didn't come in plastic (i.e. baking soda & coconut oil) are only available in plastic here (even essential oils that come in glass bottles have plastic caps everywhere I've seen them). Other things too- like my computer and hair clip- things that I really need- have plastic-like material.

    And we're not allowed to bring our own bags into stores here either (due to a fear of theft, I guess), so we either have to check our bag at the door or put it in a carry bag with the zipper closed shut with one of those plastic things that has to be cut off by the guards at the exit door. Vegetables and fruits are weighed in the store and packaged in plastic bags with a bar code, so we can't even get away without plastic bagging those either, unless we're only buying a single piece. So far we've been sneaking old plastic bags into the store to use at checkout, because it's such a hassle to have to run out to the checked bag area to get the cloth bag- but I hate having even that original plastic bag, and all the other little ones from the vegetables.

    I understand the hopeless feeling, because the more I learn about the effects of our lifestyles on the planet, the more I want to change to make it positive- but the rest of the world isn't going along at a fast enough pace and it gets frustrating. I know I'm definitely not perfect, but someday I hope to be living a completely eco-friendly, cruelty-free life, and that's what I'm working for with each lifestyle change I make.

    I've never written to a company before (though I did write to a restaurant once for having a veg plate on the menu, but when I got there I found out there was meat and bacon in every vegetable dish....yeah, they ignored me).
    Do you ever get a response? Maybe I should do that too, or we could make online petitions like they have on

  4. #4
    ShadowTears's Avatar
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    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Exfoliants, a.k.a, tiny bits of plastic that fish are eating

    I feel awful using so much plastic. I wish everyone made an effort on this, we could really make a difference.
    For me it's even worse, I have so much going on with myself, things similiar to severe OCD, that it can be even worse. I try to use as little as possible, but it still comes out as alot. As well I try to reuse when I can, or my mom can usually reuse it. There aren't really any excuses, but that's my reason.
    "There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle." -Robert Alden


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