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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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.
Microplastic-infused leave-on cosmetics targeted by the EU’s proposed restriction are numerous and complexly formulated, and there currently are no viable replacement ingredients, according to Cosmetics Europe. Eliminating plastic microbeads from rinse-off products was a far simpler undertaking, but it still took more than four years and resulted in the discontinuation of roughly half of affected formulations.