Over the past decade the increase in consumption of microbeads by the cosmetic industry has grown exponentially. Microbeads (or microplastics) are tiny pieces of plastic less than 1mm in diameter whose only purpose is to add an exfoliating feel good factor in toothpastes, shower gels and other cosmetics. With every single application, whether it’s brushing our teeth or exfoliating our face, more than 10,000 of these non degradable, polluting pieces of plastic can be washed down the drain. Because of their small size they don’t get caught by waste water treatment plants, inevitably ending up in our rivers, lakes, and eventually our oceans.
EcoPlanet's Bamboo is a Plastic Free Alternative to Microbeads
In the United States, a ban on the manufacture of products containing plastic microbeads went into effect on July 1st this year. However, even with the full ban in the United States and the ban on sales in the United Kingdom, the rest of the world remains free to continue the manufacture, sale and use of these damaging and harmful plastics.
This reluctance to change is in part due to both multinationals and domestic manufacturing entities struggling to source alternatives that are available in the volumes, quality and price they need. And despite the ever-growing movement against single use plastics, including the exponential growth of #PlasticFreeJuly there has not been too much attention on this particular product.
Over the past five years EcoPlanet Bamboo's R&D facility, EPB Laboratories, has worked to develop an all natural, plastic, chemical and toxin free alternative to microbeads. Yes, you guessed it - a sustainably grown and harvested bamboo fiber. Such bamboo fiber can be utilized in a number of different formats. Our research has focused on:
(1) Finely ground, all natural bamboo fibers; if the waxy outer layer of the bamboo culm is removed, the inner woody fibers can be processed to the appropriate micro-diameter particles for use as an exfoliant in face washes, body washes and similar products.
(2) Bamboo charcoal; EcoPlanet Bamboo's Kowie Bamboo Farm in South Africa is producing a pharmaceutical grade charcoal, which when ground into <1mm particles and cleaned of any charcoal powder, represents a natural solution to microbeads that comes along with many additional benefits. Bamboo charcoal, if processed under high enough temperatures in the absence of oxygen, can have extremely good absorptive properties, making our bamboo charcoal an ideal product for the cosmetic industry, while replacing these harmful plastics.
(3) Dried correctly and ground appropriately, bamboo leaves of certain species have properties that can render them as an organic alternative to microbeads for a wide range of applications in the cosmetic industry.
As the anti-plastic movement continues and the ban on microbeads continues to spread around the world, EcoPlanet Bamboo is working to ensure that distributed, sustainable, and certified bamboo is available to major manufacturing entities, as an all natural alternative, that not only contributes to the protection of our seas and oceans, but provides a viable solution to forest & landscape restoration in some of the poorest and most degraded parts of the planet.
Learn more about some of the products in which EcoPlanet Bamboo has switched from microbeads to an all natural bamboo charcoal alternative at The Bamboo Solution. Or more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org