EU’s Proposed Microplastic Restriction Forces Question: What Level Of Business Cost Is Acceptable?
As the European microplastic restriction proposal moves toward finalization, with heavy stakes for the cosmetics industry, EU member states and decision makers in Brussels must contend with unresolved questions of proportionality. At a time of global environmental angst and unprecedented economic challenges, what does society value most?
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Cosmetics Europe Talks Microplastic: ECHA Frustrations, ‘Value Judgments’ And International Trade Uncertainty
The European Chemicals Agency's microplastic restriction proposal received committee backing in 2020 without changes sought by the cosmetics industry, which faces €15bn in projected costs and scarce alternatives at present. It may come down to EU Member States to decide whether the ECHA restriction proposal is proportionate in balancing environmental goals and socio-economic impacts.
The final opinion of ECHA’s Socio-Economic Analysis Committee, published on 1 March, is largely unchanged from its July 2020 draft opinion with regard to microplastic in cosmetic products. That means industry may have to convince EU member state authorities that the restriction proposal has a serious proportionality problem.
The European Union’s deliberations in 2021 on a proposed microplastic restriction will determine exactly what and when microplastic ingredients must be removed from cosmetic products on the EU market, likely with global ripple effects.