Do Something about... plastic microbeads

Jon Dee & NSW Environment Minister Rob Stokes call for a phase out of microbeads

Big multinationals to phase out plastic microbeads in personal care products

Positive move will help to reduce plastic pollution in Australian waterways

The phase out of the tiny plastic beads used in facial scrubs and exfoliants is gathering pace. As concern grows about the environmental impact of plastic microbeads, the Australian arms of two multinational companies have confirmed that they're phasing them out.


Unilever will start their final phase out of plastic microbeads within two months.

In a statement sent to Do Something, Unilever Australasia said:

"In Australia and around the world, Unilever is in the process of phasing micro-plastics out of our personal care products. We have been exploring suitable alternatives that will deliver the same performance without the need to use plastics. We will begin the next-stage of the phase out in January and expect to be complete by 2015."

This week, Do Something also received correspondence from L'Oreal Australia stating that:

"The Group will have phased out all polyethylene microbeads from its scrubs by 2017."

At the bottom of Sydney's Middle Harbour, scientists have found up to 60 fragments of microplastics per 100 milligrams of sediment. These are amongst the highest levels recorded. These microplastics can be ingested by worms which in turn can be consumed by fish.

The State of Illinois has banned the sale of plastic microbeads in personal care products. Do Something Founder Jon Dee and NSW Environment Minister Rob Stokes are both calling on personal care companies to phase out the use of plastic microbeads by the end of 2016.

Mr Dee said other companies should follow Unilever's positive lead.

"If a global organisation like Unilever is able to phase out microbeads from next January, then there's no reason why other companies shouldn't join them," he said.

"When Australians use products containing plastic microbeads, they can contaminate the marine environment," said Mr Dee. "These tiny pieces of plastic are going straight down the plughole and into our waterways. It's a problem that we need to fix."



Want to see if a product contains microbeads?

By downloading the free 'Beat The Microbead' app, consumers can scan the barcode of products at home or in the shopping aisle to see if they contain plastic microbeads. The app is available free of charge for Apple, Android and Windows phones via


To download the Microbeads Media Release click here.

To view The Sun-Herald Newspaper Article click here.



29th May 2015


Volunteer in your pyjamas!
How 'virtual volunteers' are changing the face of volunteering
Think of volunteering and you picture people delivering Meals on Wheels or helping out in a charity op shop. But in today's busy world, you'll also see volunteers in their pyjamas!
More and more people are starting to volunteer their time online or on the phone. It's called 'virtual volunteering' and you can participate any time, day or night. It's been popular for some time in other parts of the world, but is only now starting to take off in Australia.
With today's International Volunteer Day (Dec 5th), the charity DoSomething are calling on busy Australians to think about becoming a virtual volunteer. Their website is now listing virtual volunteering opportunties. View the media release to see what you can do or visit:

Leading charity op shops encourage Australians to 'Op Till You Drop!' for this year's National Op Shop Week


National Op Shop Week 2015 will take place from Sunday 23rd - 30th August 2015. Please put the date in your diaries!


Red Cross, Salvos Stores and Vinnies are just some of the leading charity op shops involved in this year's Op Shop Week. This is the fourth National Op Shop Week and the campaign slogan for 2015 is 'Op Till You Drop!'.


To find locations for charity op shops in your local area, please visit - over 2,000 charity op shops are listed on this site!



21st May 2015

Free book shows small to medium-sized businesses how to cut their energy bills by 10-60%.


Australians spend more on energy than many of us realise. In 2012 we spent $9 billion on air-conditioning-related energy bills and nearly $5 billion on refrigeration-related energy costs. We're also spending tens of billions of dollars 1 on fuel products

Read more about the recent project launch of here.




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