EU’s Microplastic Clampdown Has Echoes Of US MFWA; Will Bioplastics Be Left Out In The Cold Again?
This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet
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.
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Cosmetics Europe’s Director-General John Chave discusses “a whole clutch of errors and misunderstandings” underlying ECHA’s proposal to prohibit use of intentionally added microplastics in cosmetics. According to the exec, the agency overestimates the prevalence and promise of natural/organic formulation while underestimating compliance costs by as much as 50%.
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 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.