Plastic Free July 2020: Day 21 – Soap



On average, a 7.5 ounce plastic bottle of liquid soap will last a family of three less than a month. And like shampoo, switching to bar soap or a refillable liquid soap is another easy plastic-free swap out.


Some Places to get Package-Free / Refillable Soap in California:


Soap, Nevada City

Elevate-Wellness / Ohana Apothecary, South Lake Tahoe –Bulk herbs

Replenish Tahoe South Lake Tahoe, boutique refillery, package free personal care items

Bay Area:

The Fillerup Shop, Morgan Hill

Rainbow Coop San Francisco

The Source Zero San Jose, CA


Sustain LA Los Angeles

Refillery Los Angeles

No Tox Life Los Angeles (near Atwater, Highland Park and Eagle Rock) *Zero Waste Supply Store*

Full List of California Zero Waste Stores

U.S. Zero Waste Store List




Are there still microbeads in soap?

I want to talk about a much bigger issue: microbeads. In 2015 President Obama signed the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 which banned companies from manufacturing products containing microbeads as of July 2017. Stores were prohibited from selling beauty products containing microbeads as of July 2018, and microbeads in hollistic/natural health products and non-prescription drugs were banned in 2019.

But companies like Clean & Clear are still selling products containing acrylate copolymers. According to NatGeo, “The main plastic being used in microbead-containing products is polyethylene—so, when buying [hygiene and beauty] a product that’s the main one to look for. Industry also likes to obscure the names of plastics in their products, so “acrylate copolymer” and “polypropylene” are two other words to look for and avoid” (Source).

Read: Microbeads are banned. Why are companies still using them?


Acrylate copolymers were listed in many of Clean & Clear’s exfoliating washes, even on bottles that said “does not contain plastic microbeads” under the ingredients.

This is a very dangerous example of how companies use convoluted language to disguise harmful ingredients in their products.

Read ingredients carefully! If you don’t know what something is, look it up! It only takes a few seconds, and follow your instinct. If something sounds unsafe, or is just abbreviated to a few letters, that’s usually a red flag.



H.R.1321 – Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015

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