ECHA Exploring Cosmetic Microplastic Restrictions Under New EU Plastics Strategy
This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet
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.
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Manufacturers of rinse-off and leave-on cosmetics would have four years and six years, respectively, to comply with ECHA’s proposed restriction on intentionally added microplastics, efforts that ECHA estimates would cost industry around $1.1bn and $7.4bn over 20 years. Microbeads in rinse-off exfoliating/cleansing cosmetics, largely phased out already, would be banned without delay.
The European Chemicals Agency’s proposal for restricting microplastic use, including in the cosmetics sector, is expected by Jan. 11. Cosmetics Europe has been working to promote a right-sized approach – ideally one that aligns with US regulations and voluntary industry action to date – but visibility is low as to ECHA’s intentions.