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Innovation

How A Product Design Oversight In Your Face Wash Became An Environmental Disaster

Tiny “microbeads” in beauty products seemed great, until someone tried to clean them up.

Sometimes product innovation turns out beautifully. Other times, it gets messy and requires a clean up. The story of plastic microbeads in personal care products–the tiny spheres in many body washes and toothpastes that Illinois became the first state to ban last week–is an example of the latter.

Some time in the 1990s, more and more beauty and cosmetics companies realized that microbeads

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