Awareness surrounding the detrimental impact of microplastics and microbeads on the environment has sharply increased in recent years.
Microplastics and microbeads
Less than five millimetres in length, microplastics are manufactured polyethylene plastic. These are often placed in exfoliants and health and beauty products such as cleansers and toothpastes.
As plastics increased and replaced natural ingredients, non-biodegradable, plastic particles, known as microbeads, have also strongly appeared in personal care items, the National Ocean Service stated.
Microbeads have been identified as an international pollutant and have subsequently been banned. However, there has been little development in India, the environmental research and policy advocacy name that carried out the study found.
Cosmetics in India
The new study, 'Eco Personal Care Product, Microplastics in Cosmetics', sought to analyse the existence and rate of microbeads in personal care and cosmetic products (PCCP). It examined the presence of these in the Indian marketplace and the number that are available and sold in India.
As part of the study, 18 personal care items from 16 leading consumer names were obtained and underwent testing in a laboratory to see if they contained microplastics and microbeads, and to what extent.
Through investigating various products from the rinse-off and live-on cosmetic product segments from leading industry brands, the study found that 28% of all those products tested contained microplastics.
In fact, "50% of the face wash products and 67% of the facial scrubs are found to contain microplastics. Predominating microplastics detected in the product samples is polyethylene," a report from Deccan Chronicle reveals.
As many countries have banned the use of microplastics in cosmetics, the Indian newspaper stated that The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) had also classified microbeads as unsafe for use in cosmetic products yet their use was still allowed.