Microbeads are tiny balls of hard plastic found in facial scrubs, shampoo and toothpaste that flow down drains and pass through wastewater treatment plants, ending up in waterways, where they enter the food chain. New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has proposed the first U.S. legislation banning plastic microbeads in commonly used cosmetics (Tinyurl.com/BeadLegislation).
Finding microbead-free products isn’t easy; we must read ingredient lists and steer clear of products that contain polyethylene or polypropylene. Natural alternatives include ground almonds, oatmeal and pumice.
Palm oil is a natural ingredient used in thousands of everyday products from snack foods to shampoo. But as tropical forests are cleared and carbon-rich peat swamps are drained and burned to make way for palm oil plantations, carbon is released into the atmosphere, driving global warming and shrinking habitat for endangered species. Tropical deforestation currently accounts for about 10 percent of the world’s heat-trapping emissions.
Last March, General Mills and Colgate-Palmolive announced new palm oil policies. Concerned citizens can tell other major corporations that for the sake of our atmosphere, tropical forests, peat lands and endangered species, the time to act is now, and to use only deforestation-free and peatlands-free palm oil going forward.
Take action at Tinyurl.com/PalmOilPetition.