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Cosmetics Europe calls for phase out of micro plastics in beauty products

Beauty industry association Cosmetics Europe has called on its 4,000 members to phase out the use of solid microplastic ingredients in wash-off cosmetic and personal care products.

The move has been welcomed by a number of conservation NGOs, though some beileve that the edict does not go far enough.

Laura Foster, head of pollution at the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), commented: “Cosmetics Europe’s recommendation is not broad and ambitious enough but it demonstrates a clear willingness to work towards reducing the amount of plastic litter in the marine environment.

"It represents a logical step, emphasising the widely available alternatives first, towards an all-encompassing discontinuation of unsustainable solid microplastics in personal care and cosmetic products.”

While acknowledging its shortcomings, the MCS, Fauna & Flora International and Seas At Risk say that the announcement indicates Cosmetics Europe’s willingness to collaborate with the European authorities and international association partners, helping to pave the way for further discussions and progress in tackling this avoidable source of microplastic pollution.

Emma Priestland, marine litter policy officer of Seas At Risk, said that more remains to be done: “Plastic has no place in personal care products, and this is a great first step to tackling this source of pollution, but voluntary agreements with a limited scope are not enough.

For the next step, it is vital that we secure European-wide legislation to ensure that all plastic is removed from products that go down the sink and into the ocean.”

Europe | Pollution


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