What are microbeads?
There’s a really good chance you’ve come into contact with microbeads at some point in your life, particularly if you’ve used an exfoliating face wash or body scrub.
Microbeads are tiny pieces of hard plastic used in many consumer products like toothpastes, detergents, face and body scrubs and shower gels to give them exfoliating properties. According to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, taking a shower using one of these products could see you waving goodbye to 100,000 plastic particles down the drain.
Well, modern wastewater systems weren’t designed to filter out such tiny particles, which means they make their way down the drains and usually end up in the sea. These beads add to the already growing mountain of plastic floating around our oceans, harming fish, seabirds and other wildlife. They have been found in at least 280 species of marine life so far!
You can help the situation by avoiding using products which contain microbeads. If you’re unsure, check the packaging as they are often listed on the ingredients information as polyethylene, polypropylene, PET, PTFE and PMMA.
The coverage of this topic got us thinking about the other products and substances disposed of down drains each day without consideration for the environment AND the drains!
Here’s a small list of what not to put down your drain and our recommended methods of disposal:
- Grease – Fats and oils are a common offender. When fat is poured down a drain it sticks to the sides and over time builds up and causes blocked drains. Fat will solidify once cooled, allowing you to dispose of it in the bin.
- Coffee Grounds – Plumbers everywhere are unanimous in their agreement that coffee grounds are one of the worst offenders for causing drainage problems. Coffee grounds should be disposed of in the bin. Alternatively use them on your garden as fertilizer.
- Makeup and wet wipes – Unlike toilet paper, wet wipes do not disintegrate. Some of the worst blockages we have seen involve wet wipes stuck in drainage systems. Wet wipes should be disposed of in the bin.
- Solvents – When poured or disposed of down drains, solvents can enter lakes, rivers and oceans and can harm the ecosystems of these areas. Solvents should be disposed of using your local hazardous waste disposal service.
Some more examples include paint, cotton balls, paper towels and motor oil.
If you have disposed of something down the drain and feel it could be causing you problems, Jet Force can help. Contact us today for a FREE quote!