Consumer effort needed to phase out use of microbeads

Singapore has joined the fight against microbeads, known to cause environmental harm, and large retail companies have stepped up to support the cause ("Singapore takes aim at microbeads in products" and "Retailers to phase out use of microbeads"; both published on Oct 16).

I applaud their efforts in contributing to reduce environmental damage by microbeads. However, it is not sufficient.

There is no absolute ban on the sale of products containing microbeads.

Furthermore, microbead-free replacement products will not be available till one to two years later.

This means there will still be products containing microbeads on the shelves.

It is understandable that companies require time to manufacture new products without harmful plastic microbeads.

Hence, in the meantime, it is up to consumers to avoid using products that contain microbeads.

Such products can be identified easily through a quick scan of the ingredients list, under names such as "polyethylene" and "polypropylene".

By boycotting products containing microbeads, we can effectively reduce demand for such products and reduce the amount of microbeads polluting our waters.

Microbeads not only affect marine life and the environment, but can also affect us through the seafood we consume.

As consumers, we need to aid in the fight against microbeads.

Ong Zhang Ting (Ms)