We’re helping the Marine Conservation Society keep meddlesome microbeads at bay. Are you? Words: Madeleine Barber.

Here at COAST we feel very passionate about keeping our seas clean and the marine ecosystem healthy, so we didn’t hesitate to jump on the bandwagon of the Marine Conservation Society’s latest campaign against plastics…

Do you think minty toothpastes, fruity soaps and luxurious body scrubs are harmless to the environment? They’re not the most obvious threat, that’s for sure. But hundreds of toiletries and cosmetic products sold in the UK contain tiny plastic particles known as microbeads that, when washed down your drains, end up in our oceans. These microbeads are often mistaken by marine life as food and are ingested by everything from the tiniest plankton to foraging seabirds, killing as they go. The tiny plastics also absorb and concentrate toxic chemicals, which can make their way along the food chain and onto our own dinner plates. What the Marine Conservation Society’s campaign ‘Scrub It Out!’ aims to do, is eliminate these microbeads from beauty products and protect our oceans from dangerous plastics in the process.

Think twice about what you’re putting in your shopping trolley by downloading the 'Beat the Microbead' app at beatthemicrobead.org. By scanning the product barcode with your smartphone, it will reveal if your potential purchase contains these plastics, as well as advise you on which brands are supporting the campaign. Please pledge to go microbead-free at mcsuk.org so we can show manufacturers that people care. So far, 3254 savvy pledgers have made sure there are 6,508,000 fewer microbeads in the sea every day. Keep up the good work!

For more nature stories, click here