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Threat to New Zealand waterways prompts microbead ban

Threat to New Zealand waterways prompts microbead ban

A multimillion dollar Kiwi supplement and skincare company is calling on the New Zealand government to prohibit the use of plastic microbeads in all personal care and consumer products.

Xtend-Life Natural Products founder and chairman Warren Matthews says plastic microbeads pose a very serious threat to New Zealand’s waterways and marine life.

Many multinational beauty companies are pledging to phase out plastic microbeads, but Xtend-Life is leading the charge in New Zealand with the launch of its new microbead-free exfoliator.

“We urge the New Zealand government to join us in our fight to stop the manufacture and sale of plastic microbeads in all personal care and consumer products in this country,” he says.

Microbeads are tiny, non-biodegradable plastic particles made of polyethylene that absorb toxins from other pollutants and contaminate the world’s water supply. They pose a significant threat to all marine ecosystems and are readily consumed by various species of aquatic life, passing directly into the food chain.

Many water treatment plants in New Zealand and around the world are not equipped to filter or breakdown synthetic, floating plastic particles, says Matthews.

“Plastic microbeads replaced natural abrasives such as pumice due to their low cost and have made their way into thousands of personal care products,” he says. “These products are washed down drains and enter the world’s water supply where they can survive for more than 100 years.”

International ocean conservation organisation, the 5 GYES Institute’s latest research into micro-plastic pollution shows:

• a single tube of face wash can contain over 330,000 microbeads

• 1,147 personal cleansing products around the world contain micro-plastic particles abrasives (microbeads), employed as an exfoliant

• 663 species of marine wildlife are affected by plastic pollution through ingestion or entanglement

• Micro-plastic particles attract other pollutants in the environment including PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), flame-retardants and other industrial chemicals

• Many sewerage treatment facilities do not capture synthetic, floating particles the size of microbeads that are only about 0.5 mm in diameter

• During heavy rains some treatment facilities let sewerage overflow directly into our waterways

• 43,000 plastic particles per plastic kilometre were found by 5 Gyres in Lake Erie – the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes in North America

• A single plastic particle can absorb up to 1,000,000 times more toxic chemicals than the water around it

The Netherlands was the first country to announce its intent to ban the manufacture and sale of cosmetic products containing microbeads by 2016. More recently, New Jersey passed its own bill banning the use of microbeads in personal care products and over-the-counter drugs on 23 March 2015, becoming the second U.S. state, behind Illinois, to do so.

Former international model and now Xtend-Life’s beauty ambassador Angela Stone says prohibiting the manufacture and sale of microbeads is the only way to prevent pollution and further damage to our waterways and fragile marine system.

“We’ve already seen the impacts larger plastics have had on our marine life, but mircoplastics are even more widely dispersed,” says Stone.

“Once ingested, these compounds and anything they have absorbed can move up the food chain.”

Microbeads are found in scores of personal care products including toothpaste, face and body cleansers, sunscreens, shampoos, soaps and moisturisers, but Stone warns these polyethylene beads can actually tear the skin.

Xtend-Life recently launched its new, natural exfoliator which renews and refines the skin without using plastic microbeads that contaminate the world’s waterways and oceans.

Xtend-Life refuses to use plastic microbeads in any of its products, formulating its new Age-Defying Exfoliator Scrub from naturally-derived volcanic stone pumice and powdered apple peel.

To learn more about Xtend-Life’s Age-Defying Exfoliating Scrub, visit http://bit.ly/exfoliatingscrub.

Xtend-Life Natural Products promotes marine conservation and advocates against the use of harmful synthetic ingredients via its website www.xtendoceanlife.org.

To align with this year’s 45th anniversary of Earth Day (April 22, 2015), Xtend-Life has launched a new-look Xtend-Ocean Life website which now features valuable, educational resources for children.

Xtend-Life proudly stands behind its claim of not using microbeads or any synthetic ingredients that could potentially harm the environment.

ENDS


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