A new app ‘Beat the Microbead’ has been launched by the Plastic Soup Foundation to allow consumers to self-scan products and identify more than 500 types of microplastics.
A report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in partnership with the World Economic Forum, predicts that by 2050 plastic in the oceans will outweigh fish. Beat the Microbead, a campaign that Beauty Kitchen continually support, have been pushing for the ban of microbeads since 2012, which has since led to 15 countries to take action. However, almost all major cosmetics brands still add microscopic plastic particles, nanoplastics, or even liquid plastics to their skincare products and make-up.
Often used to enhance a products properties, the main reason for microplastics is to act as a cheap filler. Microplastics are currently exempt from the standard procedures (REACH) that apply to chemicals distributed on the European market. They therefore do not need to be registered and little is known about the critical properties of these substances, such as persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxic characteristics.
Maria Westerbos, Director of the Plastic Soup Foundation says that “Our patience is at an end. In a letter to cosmetics manufacturers…we – and hundreds of other NGOs – demand transparency about the use of micro, nano, and liquid plastics. And we urge these companies to stop adding them. Until that happens, we are giving consumers a tool to make a conscious choice for themselves. Power to the people!’
Free to download, the app uses machine learning software to read the list of ingredients on packaging and identify more than 500 different microplastics. The user immediately sees whether the scanned product contains microplastics and, if so, which ones. Identified as a traffic light system, products are categorised as follows:
Red: micro and nanoplastics officially defined as such by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the environmental organisation UNEP and the engineering firm Tauw.
Orange: Classed as ‘sceptical plastics’, synthetic polymers for which there is not enough information available on whether they are dangerous to humans and the environment.
Green: Products that do not contain plastic particles and products that carry the Plastic Soup Foundation’s ‘Zero Plastic Inside’ certification.
Beauty Kitchen, pioneers in sustainability and a business that proudly showcases the Zero Plastic Inside logo on their reusable packaging, are championing the launch of this app. Founders Jo Chidley, who is also a leading expert at the ECHA, and Stuart Chidley comment:
“We are delighted with the launch of this digital tool. It will allow consumers globally to be more aware of the ingredients in their everyday items and encourage them to think more consciously overall regarding the sustainability of the products they are buying. We can collectively contribute to eliminating microplastics from all industries before they eliminate our planet.”
The app is free to download and try here.
Notes to Editors
If you would like to speak to Jo Chidley, or require any additional information or samples, please contact Amy Hasell on 01698 629552 or email email@example.com. For more information visit www.beautykitchen.co.uk.
Jo Chidley is a chemist and the Founder of Beauty Kitchen. Widley regarded as one of the pioneers of sustainable beauty, Jo is driving the beauty industry forward with better practise approaches, always. She is Beauty Kitchen’s toughest critic, inspecting everything from the efficacy of the products, to the way the ingredients are sourced, right down to the packaging sustainability for each product. Sustainability in packaging is a subject that is close to her heart and inspired Beauty Kitchen’s RETURN • REFILL • REPEAT programme.
We’re on a mission to create the most effective, natural and sustainable beauty products in the world. Together, with new ways of thinking, we believe we can all create a sustainable future by making small changes, with big impact. To do this, we lead with innovation, and design with sustainability in mind – from our natural ingredients, to sustainable packaging, cruelty free status and supporting others who drive change for the better. Everything we do follows the Cradle 2 Cradle principles and B Corp standards where there is no such word as waste. We donate 2% of all sales (not profits) to charity all year every year. In addition to that we have partnered with the Scottish Government to supply 50,000 hand sanitisers to vital front line staff, including NHS staff and social workers during these unprecedented times.