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Cosmetics manufacturers have been adding microbeads – tiny grains of plastic – to their products for years.


Microbeads are used in beauty products such as exfoliating creams, as well as toothpaste, cleaning products and much more. Every year around three trillion microbeads make their way from the shelves – via us – into sewers, and onto rivers, lakes and oceans.


According to Greenpeace, microbeads end up in the stomachs of seabirds, fish, whales, turtles and other water-dwelling creatures.


There are calls and campaigns to ban microbeads but they are still being used in products sold in many countries throughout the world. To see how many and which countries are the biggest culprits, take a look at the infographic below.

Ashley Fleming is a writer and editor who looks after the blogs at green ecard providers eCO2Greetings and Ecardshack. Ashley is based in the UK and writes about environmentalism and sustainability whenever possible. He likes to spend his free time walking and adventuring in the countryside.

Little Green Space July 2017