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Want shinier skin and hair? Scrub with plastic. After Steve Greenberg‘s EarthDesk Sunday cartoon, read on to learn more about the latest, useless, pollution producing insanity unleashed on the planet by global companies that bank on consumer stupidity.

Microbeads by Steve Greenberg. Cagle Cartoons. Used with permission.

Microbeads by Steve Greenberg. Cagle Cartoons. Used with permission.

Washing your face, brushing your teeth, scrubbing your body can be an act of pollution! warns the website  Why? Because cosmetic companies are putting polyethylene microbeads in their products in the conviction we will believe scrubbing our bodies with pieces of plastic will make us cleaner.

Not all products are as obvious about conspicuously listing plastic microbeads on their labels. Sometimes it is in the small print. "Polyethylene" is another give away.

Not all products are as obvious about the plastic microbeads they contain. Sometimes it is in the small print of listed ingredients, where the presence of “polyethylene” is a dead give away.

From BeatTheMicrobead:

Tiny particles of plastic have been added to possibly thousands of personal care products sold around the world. These microbeads, hardly visible to the naked eye, flow straight from the bathroom drain into the sewer system. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to filter out microbeads and that is the main reason why, ultimately, they contribute to the Plastic Soup swirling around the world’s oceans. Sea creatures absorb or eat microbeads. These microbeads are passed along the marine food chain. Since humans are ultimately at the top of this food chain, it is likely that we are also absorbing microbeads from the food we eat. Microbeads are not biodegradable and once they enter the marine environment, they are impossible to remove.

Friday, the California State Assembly passed the Microplastic Nuisance Prevention Law that will ban microplastics in personal care products. Other states are expected to follow suit. The personal care products industry fears “marketplace disruption for consumers.” NRDC says more than  200 products now contain microbeads, which are finding their way to fish and waterbodies, particularly the Great Lakes.

Read the full NRDC story here.

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Steve Greenberg 2008 Color SmallSteve Greenberg is an editorial cartoonist and artist in Southern California, contributing often to the Sacramento Bee and drawing regularly for the alternative-weekly Ventura County Reporter, the influential L.A. news and politics site LA and the >Jewish Journal of Los Angeles; the latter cartoons are self-syndicated nationally while his overall work is distributed via He regularly contributes to the Cartoon Movement (originally called the VJ Movement) out of The Netherlands and was the first American cartoonist invited to join. He is also an award-winning informational graphics artist and illustrator, and draws a monthly comic strip, “Boomerish,” forthe magazine Life After 50.

More at Steve’s website.