We never use cleaning products containing microbeads. Here's why.
Microbeads might feel great on your skin, but they're bad in every other way
Microbeads are all over the place now. They're those little bits of plastic you find in facial scrubs and other cosmetic products, which are supposed to help rub away dirt and grease, leading to a more thorough clean. Lots of companies use them too, particularly in handwashes. But we never use them, and never will.
Some time ago, we decided to introduce a set of five company values. With the company growing quickly, it seemed the right time to fully articulate what we believed in, so we would never lose sight of why our managing director Dean set up the company in the first place. In every decision we make, we weigh up the choices against our values to make sure we continue to meet our own standards.
When it comes to selecting cleaning products, two of our values come into play.
We live for health and wellbeing
In the most obvious sense, this means we make sure our customers have healthy options to choose from on our menus, we educate them about making good choices, and we always look at ways to make both our staff and customers feel great.
But it also comes into the decision not to use cleaning products containing microbeads. Microbeads are absolutely tiny - some of them less than 1mm - which means no matter how thoroughly you rinse off they could get under your nails or stuck to your skin. Go straight from washing your hands to, say, kneading dough for bread and hey presto, it's in the food we serve customers. That's the sort of thing that keeps our health and safety manager Sarah up at night, so that's that. No handwashes containing microbeads ever enter our kitchens or eateries.
We are a force for good in the world and get better every day
Did you know a single shower using a shower gel containing microbeads can wash 10,000 bits of plastic down the drain? Unsurprisingly, this has a pretty terrible impact on the environment. The beads get into the ocean, and in turn are swallowed up by sealife from sharks to shrimp. That's not just bad for their health, but can go back up the food chain to the humans eating the fish. What a disaster.
As members of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, we've made a pledge to assess our environmental impact in everything we do, and minimise the negative effects of our business. The use of microbeads has an impact on both the health of our oceans and the health of people around the globe. We can't in good conscience use them.
So what can you do?
Well, we're not the only people who recognise the danger of microbead-containing products. As we speak MPs in the British Parliament are calling for an outright ban. But in the meantime, you can all do your bit by avoiding using cosmetic products containing plastic microbeads. There are plenty of natural options if you want a nice rough exfoliating scrub, or a decent plain bodywash will do the job just fine. Just be sure to ditch the beads!
Will you stop using microbeads from now on? Let us know in the comments or @JustHospitality.