Is Your Facial Scrub in the Good Scrub Guide?

FFIFauna & Flora International announces the release of the Good Scrub Guide Australia, a consumer guide to purchasing Australian facial scrub products that are free of microplastics.

Microplastics are the tiny coloured specks floating in many brands of facial exfoliator, shampoos, body scrubs and even toothpastes. This tiny particles are so small they are unable to be filtered by our sewage systems and pass through to the ocean where they become toxic marine debris. So small are they that animals mistake them for food, adsorbing their toxins and entering the food chain where they can potential impact humans.

CSIRO research released last month found Australia's can't hide from plastic debris, they litter all our coastal waters and are then ingested by the marine wildlife with 43% of all seabirds found with plastics in their guts, young birds particularly. The report highlights urban centres as the main source of plastic marine debris and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science research confirms this with recent sampling of sediments within Sydney Harbour recording the highest ever concentration of micro plastics (60-100 fragment (or filaments) /100ml wet sediment) from abraded ropes, plastic bags, and clothing fibres and of course, cosmetic products.

Fauna & Flora International's President, HRH Princess Laurentine visited Australia in May this year to highlight the threat that microplastics play in the environment. During that visit she meet with the newly appointment NSW Environment Minister, the Hon. Rob Stokes MLC, who announced last month his plan to instigate a ban on microplastics by 2016. This is a most welcome initiative by the NSW Minister and Fauna & Flora International stands ready to support him.

By releasing the Good Scrub Guide Australia, Fauna & Flora International is arming Australian consumers with information to avoid purchasing products that contain microplastics. FFI Australia is working together with Surf Riders Foundation to promote the Good Scrub Guide Australia and will engage with manufacturers to encourage them to change their ingredients.

These non-biodegradable plastics products have replaced many familiar natural products like oatmeal, sea salt and seed husks that once used to be included in these cosmetics for their cleansing properties.

Fauna & Flora International has been working with other European organisations such as the North Sea Foundation and Plastic Soup Foundation to and provide data for the Beat the MicroBead smart phone app. This app lets consumers scan a product's barcode to see if it contains plastic allowing consumers this information in their hand at the point of purchase (www.beatthemicrobead.org ). The Australian data on facial scrubs is now available via this app.

Fauna & Flora International encourages all consumers to use the Good Scrub Guide Australia and the app and to choose wisely at the checkout.

For further information contact:
Ally Catterick, Communications Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ph 0407 501 132
Angela Hawdon, Programme Manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ph 0418 537 674