Do you know how much plastic is in your cosmetics?

High fashion show of trash models to shed light on plastic pollution in local waterways.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Florida – Pollution isn’t nice.

But the Panache Salon and Matanzas Riverkeeper are trying to get your attention to plastic pollution in a rather trendy way.

First Coast News had a preview of a fashion show that the two Sant’Agostino entities will organize.

A Panache employee fashioned an elegant dress made of plastic. It was made almost entirely of plastic, from the straps to the tassels of the skirt.

Another employee wore a headband made of teal and blue plastic bags that protected Wall Street Journal newspapers delivered to their home.

Then there was a multicolored, jazzy jacket made of strips of plastic bags.

Panache Salon in St. Augustine is gearing up for its Love Your Mother Eco Fashion Show, which is a stunning production where designers have to use “materials that would have been thrown away,” said Panache’s Michelle Vijgen. “You can use glue and thread, but that’s it.”

The money raised during the parade will go to the management of Matanzas Riverkeepers’ Litter Gitter, a boat that collects garbage. It becomes junk you can see. However, the junk you can’t see could be just as bad. Much of that microscopic litter comes from microplastics in beauty products.

Matanzas River Guardian Jen Lomberk said: “Many of our cosmetics, toiletries and toothpaste contain microplastics. Toothpaste is a very big criminal.”

When those beauty products are washed out of our hair and skin, the water along with those microplastics go down the drain.

“And unfortunately our wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove these microplastics,” Lomberk said.

And so those microplastics are dumped directly into waterways like the Matanzas River. A wastewater discharge area that boaters pass frequently (and may not realize it) is located just north of the SR312 bridge in Sant’Agostino.

There are apps and websites that can help you determine if your cosmetics contain microplastics. One app is Beat the Microbead. Click here for the link.

“I think it’s important to be aware of what we’re putting in your hair or on your body,” Vijgen said.

Studies of Florida waterways are already showing “microplastics in fish bellies and oysters,” Lomberk said. “It could end up on our dinner plate!”

And so keeping waterways beautiful can also depend on the products we use to make ourselves beautiful.

Vigjen suggests researching “sustainable products, which include things that will not harm our bodies or our environment”.

A little fashion sense can lead to an eco-friendly sense of high style.

For more information on the Love Your Mother Eco show, click here.

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