Federal Microbead Ban May Not Be Final Word On Cosmetic Use
This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet
Latham & Watkins attorneys believe the limited scope and "interpretive ambiguities" of the US Microbead-Free Waters Act could leave room for state legislation targeting plastic microbead use in cosmetic products, notwithstanding the law's preemption component. The absence of a "plastic" definition under the federal ban also raises questions, which biopolymer suppliers are racing to address with receptive ears in Congress.
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The Italian firm’s polyhydroxyalkanoate microspheres are naturally derived, high-performing and 100% biodegradable in water in less than two weeks, it says. Consultancy Frost & Sullivan sees Bio-on as a potential leader in the cosmetic industry’s “bio-polymeric ingredient revolution,” provided that regulations cooperate.
The future of microplastics use in the European cosmetics sector hangs in the balance as legislative efforts move forward in line with the Commission’s Plastics Strategy released in January. A key question is whether next-generation, biodegradable plastics will get caught up in any bans that transpire, limiting manufacturers’ options and dashing the hopes of emerging producers with cosmetic interests.
As part of its newly released plastics strategy, the European Commission has asked ECHA to prepare a proposal for restricting use of intentionally added microplastic particles in products including cosmetics. Industry groups will be weighing in on the initiative, which comes as a response to environmental concerns and increasing regulatory action at the EU member state level.