Pumice - fast replacing Plastic Microbeads

A worldwide ban on plastic microbeads in cosmetics should be imposed as soon as possible. This is call of many legislators worldwide.


In the press recently, there has been much debate about the damaging effects of microbeads.


In light of the United States FDA banning use of Polyethylene Microbeads, due to severe damage to marine life, many major European and Global manufacturers have decided to remove microbeads from products within their range.


After much testing and analysis, many companies are now selecting our Pumice Powder 0-3/4 grade. This is due to the similar particle size and it being a natural volcanic rock with great exfoliating capabilities. Pumice is a very cost effective alternative to microbeads and most importantly it’s neutral pH does not harm the marine environment.


Why are microbeads controversial?

Microbeads are plastic particles smaller than 5mm. They are used in cosmetics, including toothpaste, to add body and provide abrasion. Manufacturers use them because the beads can be manufactured to uniform degrees of size and hardness.


Microplastics from cosmetics are thought to constitute up to 4.1% of plastics entering the marine environment.


Governments will consider a ban on microbeads in cosmetics if the EU doesn’t legislate against them.


Easy to eat

Microplastic pollution is potentially more environmentally damaging than larger plastic waste, because it is more likely to be eaten by wildlife. Microplastics also have a greater surface area to attract toxins.


An average plate of oysters could contain up to 50 plastic particles. We don’t have any evidence yet for the harm this might cause but most people would probably prefer not to be eating microbeads in food.



Cosmetics is one of the biggest sources of waste microplastics along with abrasion from car tyres and road markings. But these issues are likely to prove much more difficult to address than a relatively straightforward ban on microbeads in cosmetic products, where substitutes are readily available.


Over 280 marine species have been found to ingest microplastics, but much more research is needed into plastic pollution because there is huge uncertainty about the ecological risk.


"We are absolutely committed to protecting the world's seas, oceans and marine life from pollution, and will take a detailed look at the recommendations contained in this timely report," a spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.


"Many leading manufacturers have already taken voluntary steps to remove microbeads from cosmetics, beauty products and toothpastes and are switching to Pumice. We will now consider what further action is appropriate, and make any announcements in due course”


Many argue an outright ban would send a clear message that microplastics have no place in beauty products with alternatives such as Pumice readily available.


Techfil offer 3 distinct grades of Pumice specifically formulated to replace microbeads:


Pumice 0-3/4 – Fine Grade


Pumice 1/2 - Medium Grade


Pumice 1-1/2 – Coarse Grade


Please contact us at info@techfil.co.uk to request laboratory and working samples.


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