- Cosmetics Europe is planning to remove microplastics from cosmetic and personal care products, which are currently contributing to plastic litter in oceans. But environmental activists like Laura Foster, head of pollution at the Marine Conservation Society, wants adoption of a broader, more robust action plan.
- Emma Priestland, marine litter policy officer of Seas At Risk, also says Cosmetics Europe’s attempt to protect the environment must be more detailed. "Plastic has no place in personal care products, and this is a great first step to tackling this source of pollution, but voluntary agreements with a limited scope are not enough," said Priestland. She called for European-wide legislation to keep plastic out of these products.
- Cosmetics Europe President Loïc Armand said the organization will work with regulators on a "science -based approach" to dealing with plastic microparticles. "We are also committed to building, with other international associations, global alignment of the cosmetics industry on this issue."
While Europe moves forward to address plastic in cosmetics and personal care products, in the U.S. California State Assembly passed a bill (AB888) to ban similar products containing plastic microbeads, which wash down drains, absorb toxic chemicals, pollute waterways and harm fish.
The bill could take effect Jan. 1, 2020. Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana, and Maryland have already enacted legislation to ban microbeads. Similar bills are pending in Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, and Oregon.
More than 3,000 personal care products now contain polyethylene, according to an online database by the Environmental Working Group.