EU’s Microplastic Restriction Hints At Precautionary Creep – Cosmetics Europe
The European cosmetics industry sees ECHA’s recommended microplastic restriction as evidence of the precautionary principle’s growing ascendancy, a trend that is only likely to deepen amid the “green wave” spreading across Europe. The US, meanwhile, has been going in an opposite direction, posing potentially significant trade implications, Cosmetics Europe’s Director-General John Chave suggests.
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Microplastic, Macro-Headache: European Cosmetics Industry Dismayed By Early Signs In Restriction Process
Initial committee debate as to whether ECHA’s proposed microplastic restriction meets regulatory threshold requirements for substances posing “unacceptable risk” was shorter-lived than industry advocates anticipated, following the contentious proposal’s issuance at the end of January. Cosmetics Europe head John Chave provides an update on the process and discusses next steps.
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.
A combined final opinion on the European Chemicals Agency’s proposed microplastic restriction is expected from ECHA committees by year-end, at which point the European Commission will consider whether and when microplastic must be removed from all leave-on cosmetic products marketed in the EU.