Beat the Microbead

3.1
1.21K reviews
100K+
Downloads
Content rating
Everyone
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About this app

The Beat the Microbead app is the fastest way to learn if your cosmetics and personal care products contain plastic ingredients. This app uses state-of-the-art text recognition technology. Just scan the ingredients of your products and check them for microplastics. Not only that, but you can also get to know microplastic-free brands certified by us.

How does it work?

It’s straightforward: you can scan products with four easy steps:
- Find the ingredients list on your product.
- Position the full list within your camera frame.
- Make sure the ingredients are clear to read.
- Take a picture to scan!

A traffic light rating system

- RED: Products that contain microplastics.
- ORANGE: Products that contain what we call “sceptical” microplastics. With this, we mean synthetic polymers for which there is not enough information available.
- GREEN: Products that do not contain microplastics.

Help us enrich our database!

Every time you add a product to our database, you help us build a case against microplastics. With every product information, we can create evidence and convince authorities about the extensive use of plastic ingredients. A bit of extra effort on your side makes you a part of the fight against microplastics in cosmetics and care products. So, go ahead, scan the barcode of your product and help us get some more information!

By adding the products to our database, you can also discover our certified microplastic-free brands. These brands have their entire range of products free of all known microplastic ingredients.

Why is it important?

Plastic in cosmetics is a global problem! Microplastics are hardly visible ingredients that pollute our planet & may pose health risks. These microplastics, hardly visible to the naked eye, flow straight from the bathroom drain into the sewer system. Microplastics are not biodegradable, and once they enter the (marine) environment, they are almost impossible to remove.

Sea animals absorb or eat microplastics; these particles are passed along the marine food chain. Since humans are ultimately at the top of this food chain, it is likely that we also ingest microplastics.

Using body washes or cosmetics that contain microplastics can put the ocean, ourselves, and our children at risk! With this app, you can get aware of this issue and make environmentally friendly choices.

Who is behind this app?

The collaborators behind this app include the following partners:

Plastic Soup Foundation: NGO based in Amsterdam, initiators of the worldwide campaign “Beat the Microbead”. Their mission: No plastic in our water or our bodies!

PINCH: a renowned mobile development agency from Amsterdam that is proud of their work for the Plastic Soup Foundation.
Updated on
Nov 24, 2020

Data safety

Developers can show information here about how their app collects and uses your data. Learn more about data safety
No information available
3.1
1.21K reviews
Kimberly O'Hara
April 30, 2021
This app is really great and useful! As a kid I don't really have much say in what my parents buy so its really not too handy for me but for an adult I can see the use! I think there could be a feature though where you could see the things you've already scanned and see the picture and what the programming saw so we know how to better take pictures. A bar code reader would also be good for items that are already in the database, and a panorama mode would be good for wide round bottles!
10 people found this review helpful
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Plastic Soup Foundation
May 7, 2021
Hello Kimberly, Thanks for your feedback! We deeply respect your advice, and we will try to combine your feedback with our R&D, in order to provide a better version of the app.
Sueny Novák
November 29, 2021
The app has an amazing potential to do the good!! It would be amazing if it worked properly. I scanned many products, and I think I've learned many things about ingredients. It has been more than two months since I input a product in the database, it's crashing. I'm just keeping the app to continue checking the ingredients of the products before I buy them. I think it would also be very good if the user could login inside the app and have a list about all the products he/she had already input.
7 people found this review helpful
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Dennis Langelaan
June 3, 2020
New version is a huge improvement, but camera doesn't focus. Update: yes now it works! That's the most awesome response time. Wouldn't using OCR produce a lot of false negatives? Maybe it's possible to visually show what text is recognized in a taken picture, like the Google Translate app does. Now that I'm on the feedback role: maybe don't show the browser/link part on app pages, this makes it look a bit cheap and seems redundant.
4 people found this review helpful
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Plastic Soup Foundation
June 11, 2020
Hey Dennis, an update just went live; you can now focus on the picture by tapping it. Please give it a try! Hopefully, the experience will improve for you. Thanks and have a nice day! Update: We use some 'magic' to prevent as many false positives/negatives as possible and keep improving this as the scans keep coming in. Thanks for being involved!

What's new

A small update, so that the app works even better. Your feedback about the app is welcome and we try to include as much as possible in next updates.