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New mobile app detects plastic in consumer care products

Staff writer |
A new application for smart phones offering consumers information about the presence of plastic microbeads in personal care products is launched. "Beat the Microbead" is a cooperation between 30 NGOs.

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It is free and available in English, Dutch, French, Spanish and German and aims to make eco-minded consumers more aware of their purchasing behaviour.

This application scans the barcode of a personal care product and tells the consumer whether or not the product contains plastic microbeads through a traffic light colour code.

"Red" means that the product contains microbeads; "orange" means that the product contains microbeads, but that the manufacturer has pledged to stop using microbeads in the near future. "Green" ensures that the product does not contain microbeads.

"Plastic only breaks down partially and leaves little pieces of material called microbeads. The worst part is that water treatment plants are unable to filter these microbeads completely and thus directly influence the plastic soup that threatens oceans," said Jeroen Dagevos of the North Sea Foundation.

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