EU Ban Looms On Cosmetic Microplastic: Time To Dig In On Biodegradable Plastic Terms?
Biodegradable plastic alternatives for use in cosmetic products were left unaddressed, and thus arguably unusable, under the US Microbead-Free Waters Act enacted in late 2015. European industry stakeholders now face the prospect of a far more extensive microplastic ban, and the viability of bioplastics to replace conventional, petroleum-based microplastics is an area in need of work.
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Cosmetics Europe’s Director-General John Chave discusses next steps in the European Union’s proposed drive to ban manufactured microplastic in all cosmetic products. Industry continues to fight for something more proportionate, but it’s up against powerful forces in today’s European theater.
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.