Microplastic-free beauty companies put pressure on European Commission for 'stronger' ban

By Julia Wray | Published: 21-Feb-2023

An open letter sent to the European Commission said upcoming legislation does not go far or fast enough in its current format

Microplastic-free beauty brands and supporting associations have sent an open letter to the European Commission urging for upcoming legislation on microplastics to be stronger.

Signed by names including NAÏF, Weleda and Beauty Kitchen, the letter stated the companies did not believe “the upcoming legislation goes far nor fast enough in its current format”.

A particular area of concern flagged up by the companies was the timeframe.

“The exceptionally long transition periods in the current proposal, especially 12 years for leave-on products such as make-up, remain at odds with the principles laid down in ongoing European Commission initiatives and therefore have no justification,” the letter read.

“We have made a choice to come together and call for a future-proof regulation that doesn’t provide exceptionally long transition periods for leave-on products and lip, nail and make-up products (six and 12 years).

“As responsible industries, we believe we should contribute to shaping tomorrow’s world, not fight to maintain yesterday’s practices.”

Commenting on the move, Weleda’s Chief Commercial Officer, Nataliya Yarmolenko, said: “Together with fellow microplastics-free brands we urge the European Commission to implement decisive, consistent, and rapid introduction of microplastic-free legislation as a matter of urgency.

“We feel there is no justification for the exceptionally long 12-year transition period when certified natural cosmetics brands such as Weleda show that working without using microplastics at all has always been possible.

“We know that consumers share our passion for genuine sustainability, with 90% of shoppers believing ethics-related considerations are important when buying beauty products.

“The beauty industry and others need to prioritise alternatives to microplastics, so that we can move forward as an innovative, collective, planet friendly beauty industry.”

The full list of the letter’s signatories also comprises Inika Organic, Neal’s Yard, The Sustainable Beauty Coalition, Seepje, Soil Association, British Beauty Council, Toot, Petit & Jolie, Upcircle, Kaerel, Green People, Smyle, Whitfords, Léa Nature, Skandinavisk and Uoga Uoga.

The European Commission published its draft regulation in August 2022, with the draft discussed for the first time with EU Member States in the REACH Committee on 23 September 2022. 

The EU Member States have yet to vote on the draft regulation in the REACH Committee.

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