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Why microbeads are a load of rubbish

Would you like to fill your mouth with plastic, or cover other parts of your anatomy with it on a regular basis? The answer would most likely be a resounding no, but we are already doing just that. When we wash our face with an exfoliating face scrub, or brush our teeth with some whitening toothpaste, we unfortunately may have unknowingly smothered loads of plastic on our bodies. We buy these products because the adverts lead us to believe that these products are good for us, but beauty experts are now criticising the inclusion of tiny pieces of plastic called microbeads.

Why should we be concerned about microbeads in Hertfordshire?

There is already a massive amount of plastic polluting the worlds oceans. Plastic bottles, their tops, plastic bags, straws and a host of other plastic materials are causing ecological havoc both on land and in the ocean. In fact, about eight million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean every single year. This plastic often end up in the stomachs of seabirds, whales, turtles and other forms of marine life. Plastic microbeads are a serious contender for the worst polluting plastic of all because of their size. Microbeads are so small that they are unable to be filtered by sewage systems and pollute the oceans at a shocking rate.

Plastic is estimated to take a very long period of time to break down, but does it ever really disappear? Plastic bags can take twenty years to decompose, plastic bottles up to four hundred and fifty years, and fishing line, six hundred years; but in fact, no one really knows how long plastics will remain in the ocean. With exposure to UV rays and the ocean environment, plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller fragments. So for every bit that ends up in the ocean, it needs to be manually removed, this is clearly a mammoth task and virtually impossible when one considers the size of microbeads. Because they are so small, the microbeads invariably end up being eaten by fish. Although they will pass most of it through waste, it can lodge between scales and thus end up in our food.

Fortunately the governments and corporations around the world seem to be waking up to the problem plastic waste has become. The United Kingdom government implemented a plastic bag charge that has seen an 85% reduction in their use. There is also some welcome progress concerning microbeads. The United States outlawed them in 2017 and so has the Canadian government. By cutting out the products that contain these nasty little beads of plastic and reducing our plastic usage overall, we can all make a positive impact on the amount of plastic waste that ends up in our landfill sites and oceans.

So what are microbeads?

Microbeads are very small pieces of plastic that are added to everyday cosmetic products face wash, toothpaste, abrasive cleaners, to name but a few. They are most frequently made of polyethylene but can be of other petrochemical plastics such as polypropylene and polystyrene. Microbeads are small enough to go down your plughole and easily pass through water filtration systems.

Microbeads are so small that many believe them to be harmless, but 100,000 microbeads are washed down the sink with a single application of some products. These all end up in the sea and therefore the food chain.

Scientific research is continuing to find more and more examples of plastic inside all kinds of sealife organisms. But it doesn't stop with just marine life, a recent study showed that ninety percent of birds have plastic in their stomachs too. Microbeads end up in human systems through toothpaste and through eating seafood that has ingested microplastics and the toxins that come with them.

The UK government intoduced a ban on microbeads in early 2018, the Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey recently said: "The worlds seas and oceans are some of our most valuable natural assets and I am determined we act now to tackle the plastic that devastates our precious marine life".

She went on to say that "Microbeads are entirely unnecessary when there are so many natural alternatives available, and I am delighted that from today cosmetics manufacturers will no longer be able to add this harmful plastic to their rinse off products".

She concluded with: "Now we have reached this important milestone, we will explore how we can build on our world-leading ban and tackle other forms of plastic waste".

Remeber, to help yourself and the environment by checking your existing toothpaste and cleaning products for the use of microbeads. If you want to go all natural, you can also try exfoliating with natural products like kernels, sugar or a wash cloth.


Other Articles on Waste Management and Recycling in Hertfordshire

A guide to what can and cannot go into a hired skip

At Stevenage Skip Hire we are frequently asked what waste materials can be placed into the hired skips we supply. So we thought it would be a good idea to offer a quick guide as to what is and is not acceptable.

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Recycling your waste materials in Stevenage

Recycling is something most of us do now to some degree. Some do it more than others, but we mostly appreciate that it is an important part of our daily lives. It is more important to recycle waste in order to conserve resources and maintain a healthy environment than ever before. The question is, are we really doing everything possible when it comes to recycling our waste materials? The achances are that many of us are probably not doing all we can. So here are a few tips to help you recycle properly.

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The problem with plastic pollution in Hertfordshire

Plastic pollution is now one of the biggest environmental concerns we have to face. You may feel that large amounts of plastic waste are unavoidable in the world we live in, but you and your family can help with the plastic pollution issue by being aware of its dangers and taking the necessary steps to reduce your plastic waste.

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Waste reduction in Hertfordshire

The country is now committed to reducing the amount of waste and the government have set targets for waste reduction. A new plan for cutting waste was published back in 2007 that aimed for at least 40 per cent of household waste to be recycled or composted by 2010, this rose to 50 per cent by 2020.

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Plastic waste from the United Kingdom may be sent overseas instead of recycled

Massive amounts of packaging waste is being sent overseas to be recycled and turned into new products. However, concerns have been raised that in reality a good deal of it is being dumped in landfill sites in countries that we have no agreement with.

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Just how recyclable is the plastic we use in Stevenage Skip Hire

We all know that plastic is recyclable, so as long as we put it in the correct bin it will be made into something else useful. Sadly this is a myth that all too many people believe, the painful truth is quite the opposite. We have all seen the triangular set of chasing arrows logo on plastic products and seem to automatically assume that it denotes that the product is recyclable.

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What happens to all the plastic we throw out

Just where would we be without plastic? The production of plastic has exploded over the last fifty or so years, growing from 16.5 million tons in 1964 to 343 million tons in 2014; it is expected to double by 2036. The question is, where does all of this plastic go when people in Hertfordshire throw it away?

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Fly tipping: A modern day curse

Fly tipping is simply another term used to describe illegal dumping of all manner of waste material, it is also called fly dumping. Whatever term is used, it is the dumping of waste illegally instead of using an authorised method such as kerbside collection or using an authorised rubbish dump. It is the illegal deposit of any waste onto land, including waste dumped or tipped on a site with no licence to accept waste.

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Recycled plastic for roads and pavements

Plastic use in road and pavement construction is not exactly a new concept, but it does appear to be increasing. Using plastic waste to make plastic roads is definitely on the upward trend. Plastic roads mainly use plastic carrier bags, disposable cups and PET bottles that are collected from landfill sites prior to burial and are a vital part of this construction material.

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Seaweed sachets offer an alternative to plastic

Indonesia has a wealth of naturally growing seaweed that can make an edible, water permeable film that can be used in sachets that hold tea, coffee, and hot cocoa as well as a whole host of other useful daily consumable products.

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The increasing problem of plastics in our oceans

The amount of plastic in the oceans of the world is predicted to treble in the next ten years unless affirmative action is taken to deal with the problem, according to a new report just published.

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Plastic pollution in the ocean starts from the rivers

A scary statistic is that more than eight million tons of waste plastic ends up in the ocean every single year. If we continue to pollute our oceans at this rate, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050 and it can take many years to break down if at all, not to mention the toxins it leaches in the process.

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Ways to reduce your plastic waste

Plastic is a great product in so many ways, but the environmental impact it can have is enormous, particularly when it comes to the single use plastic products we seem to uses on a daily basis in our throw away society. Can we as private individuals do to cut down our personal plastic usage?

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Waste plastic from the UK is polluting the globe

Literally thousands of tons of plastic scrap collected for recycling from British households have been transported and dumped on sites across the world. This shocking revelation was revealed from a recent freedom of information request.

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Hiring a skip from Stevenage Skip Hire rather than using the local dump

Have you got a load of rubbish to dump? Is it better to hire a skip or use the local dump? Do you need a permit for having a skip? Can anyone apply for a permit? Here are a few answers which could help you when hiring a skip from Stevenage Skip Hire

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Hire a skip from Stevenage Skip Hire for your garden waste

No matter what the season, a medium sized Hertfordshire garden can generate a massive amount of waste materials. The winter will leave a lot of dead leaves and twiggs from nearby trees to clear up, and when the warmer months hit, the waste is generated on a weekly basis as things grow rapidly.

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Get a skip and avoid fly tipping in Hertfordshire

Not only does fly tipping blight the Hertfordshire countryside around us, it can have a devastating effect on the wildlife that we co-exist with. Then of course there is the eye watering cost of clearing up the mess that inconsiderate people have created. We all pay the price for this ecologically unsound practice through increased council tax bills from our councils. This could all be avoided if everyone disposed of their waste in the correct manner and hiring a skip is probably the best way to go about this, particularly if you have a large amount of waste to dispose of.

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Some facts about waste and recycling from Stevenage Skip Hire

The United Kingdom produces over 100 million tonnes of waste every single year. If you consider that one tonne is about the weight of a small car, it is easy to see how it mounts up. In less than two hours, the waste we produce would fill the Albert Hall.

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Hire a skip instead of going to your local Hertfordshire tip

Using a local Hertfordshire tip is not the same as it was a few years ago. These days everything has to go in the correct hopper, it cannot all go in the same one any longer. This means you have to know what goes where in order to segregate all the rubbish at home.

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Hire a skip from Stevenage Skip Hire for your soil and mud

A Hertfordshire client recently hired one of our skips as they just could not believe how much earth they had to get rid of when they dug out a pond in their back garden. Our client had intended to build up their flower beds and other low spots of their garden with the excavated earth. They never thought they would need to get rid of any earth at all.

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Useful information about skip hire in Hertfordshire

The one question we get asked the most at Stevenage Skip Hire is what size skip the customer will need. We always suggest that you think about what you need to dispose of and remember that two skips can be far more expensive than one larger skip. Skips are measured by the yard and range from 3 yard mini skips to roll-on roll-off containers more suitable for higher volume waste requirements.

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Hire a skip from Stevenage Skip Hire to save you time effort and money

Hiring a skip from Stevenage Skip Hire is without a doubt the best way to get rid of all your waste materials! It is convenient, quick, easy and saves you a huge amount of work. Generally speaking, we only get a couple of days a week away from work, and when you end up ferrying your household waste back and forth from the local tip, your weekend soon gets swallowed up.

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The benefits of skip hire from Stevenage Skip Hire in Hertfordshire

Having a good clear out of the garden shed or garage produces way more rubbish than you ever imagined possible. Decorating preparation can also produce a good deal of waste, such as old skirting boards and stripped wood chip paper that his been up since the war, so a skip is a great way to dispose of the waste.

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Further Information

If you would like to know more or are interested in a quote we would be happy to help. Phone us on 0800 169 8588, email us at stevenageskiphire@live.co.uk or fill in our enquiry form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

Stevenage Skip Hire Ltd - Envirowaste Recycling Centre - Jacks Hill - Graveley - Herts SG4 7EQ

Stevenage Skip Hire Ltd
Envirowaste Recycling Centre
Jacks Hill
Graveley
Herts SG4 7EQ

Articles
A guide to what can and cannot go into a Stevenage Skip Hire hired skip
Recycling your waste materials in Stevenage
Plastic waste from Hertfordshire may be sent overseas instead of recycled
Just how recyclable is the plastic we use in Hertfordshire
What happens to all the plastic we throw out in Hertfordshire
Fly tipping: A modern day curse in Hertfordshire
Fly tipping: A modern day curse in Hertfordshire
Recycled plastic for roads and pavements in Hertfordshire
Seaweed sachets offer an alternative to plastic in Hertfordshire
The increasing problem of plastics in our oceans
Plastic pollution in the ocean starts from the rivers
Waste reduction in Hertfordshire
The problem with plastic pollution in Hertfordshire
Article with advice from Stevenage Skip Hire on ways to reduce your plastic waste
Article about why plastic microbeads are a load of rubbish from Stevenage Skip Hire
Article about why waste plastic from the UK is polluting the globe from Stevenage Skip Hire
Article about hiring a skip from Stevenage Skip Hire rather than using the local dump
Article about hiring a skip from Stevenage Skip Hire for your garden waste
Article about getting a skip and avoid fly tipping in Hertfordshire
Article about waste and recycling from Stevenage Skip Hire
Article about hiring a skip instead of going to your local Hertfordshire tip
Article about hiring a skip from Stevenage Skip Hire for your soil and mud
Article with useful information about skip hire in Hertfordshire
Article about hiring a skip from Stevenage Skip Hire to save you time effort and money
Article about the benefits of skip hire from Stevenage Skip Hire in Hertfordshire
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