Please note this website requires cookies in order to function correctly, they do not store any information about you personally.

For more information please see our privacy policy. Learn more

I understand

In January 2016 President Obama approved a new bill banning the use of plastic microbeads in cosmetics and toothpaste.

 

The ‘Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015’ has been introduced to restrict the amount of non-biodegradable plastic entering waste water treatment plants. 

 

Plastic microbeads including the widely used polyethylene (PE) bead are commonly used as abrasives in personal care applications. Abrasives are frequently used in toothpaste to help remove dirt and plague from the teeth. They are also widely used in exfoliating skin cleansers to provide a scrub effect.

Plastic microbeads are dangerous because they are too small to be removed by the filters used to process wastewater and are therefore discharged straight into rivers and oceans. Once in rivers and oceans they can be mistakenly eaten by fish and other aquatic animals with potentially fatal consequences.  

 

The ban will come into effect in July 2017 and it is expected that other regions will follow with the Green Party already campaigning for the UK to introduce similar restrictions. 

 

Alternatives to plastic microbeads

 

Whilst the new bill will heavily restrict the use of PE and other plastic beads there are alternatives available that are not affected. 

 

Surfachem distribute ingredients for PQ Silicas who manufacture a wide range of non-plastic abrasive microbeads. 

PQ Silicas SORBOSIL range are produced from hydrated silica and are completely safe in aquatic environments. Hydrated Silica beads are suitable for both toothpaste and cleansing formulations and are available in different particle sizes depending on the desired level of abrasiveness. 

SORBOSIL hydrated silica beads are naturally derived with Ecocert certification and colour variants are also available. 

 

SORBOSIL ORAL CARE BROCHURE

SORBOSIL PERSONAL CARE BROCHURE

 

If you would like further information about PQ Silicas range of ingredients please contact us or your Account Manager. 

Our Values

Knowledge

Be the expert. We understand our customers and our market. We freely share this market knowledge with our customers and principals. We keep abreast of new thinking.

 

Accountability

We hold ourselves and each other accountable. We take responsibility for what we do, and for each other. We don’t just push the boundaries of legislation. We consider sustainability for all.

 

Respect

Ourselves, our colleagues, our customers and our principals. We treat each other as equals. We share ideas and listen to other people’s points of view.

 

Innovation

We think differently and creatively. We build on each others’ ideas and use our expertise to think about better ways of doing things for us, for our customers and for our principals.

Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on LinkedIn
Find us on Youtube