Monday, March 03, 2008

Put down that body polish

I've been horrified by much of what I've read so far in The World Without Us, but hearing about the dangers of body scrubs really put me over the edge. Now many of these products (including my favorite, Trader Joe's Sea Salt Scrub) use salt, sugar or tiny bits of walnut shells, and that's OK. But a lot of body wash, scrub and polish brands include "'micro-fine polyethylene granules,' 'polyethylene micro-spheres' or 'polyethylene beads.'" Tiny bits of plastic designed to go right down the drain and into our rivers, lakes and oceans, where they can (and will be) swallowed by sea creatures.

I probably don't need to tell you that this stuff never goes away, it just accumulates in the ecosystem, eventually blocking the stomachs and intestines of fish, birds and other animals.