87% of cosmetics contain microplastics
Most cosmetic products contain small particles of plastic, the Plastic Soup Foundation concluded in a recent study. Of the 7,704 products examined from ten major brands, 87 percent contained plastic particles. This includes several types of microplastics, such as synthetic polymer, according to the environmental organization. The Dutch Cosmetics Association (NCV) has spoken out against the Plastic Soup Foundations conclusion and the study’s methodology.
The Plastic Soup Foundation is now calling on the European Union to tighten up legislation. The impact the synthetic particles have on public health needs to be better investigated before their further use is allowed, they argued. The products examined were from the brands, L'Oréal Paris, Elvive/Elseve, Garnier, Nivea, Gillette, Oral-B, Head & Shoulders, Dove, Rexona, and Axe.
In response, the NCV said that the definition of “microplastics” that the Plastic Soup Foundation used for the study is incorrect. “The organization is taking it too far, and now suddenly everything is ‘microplastic,’” said NCV policy advisor Max Hellinga. “As an example, the foundation says that all synthetic polymers are microplastics. That's not true."
“We see plastic as a chemical substance," Jeroen Dagevos from the Plastic Soup Foundation said in defense of his organization’s report. "Polymers are one of those. They do not degrade easily. You should at least research that before you put it on the market." The organization has based its research into microplastics on the ingredients lists of the various cosmetic products.
The definition of microplastics has already been established by independent scientists at the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) and the Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC), according to the NCV. As such, the analysis of the ingredients list by the Plastic Soup Foundation creates the wrong impression, the cosmetics groups argued.
However, Dagevos disagreed, saying the NCV is conveniently hiding behind that definition of microplastics, one in which “they lobbied hard for themselves.”
Despite these differences, the NCV says it takes the problem seriously. The association emphasized that safe products for consumers and the environment are an "absolute priority." Safe products for consumers and the environment are an "absolute priority,” the association emphasized. "The industry, therefore, takes the problem of microplastics very seriously and is looking for effective and science-based solutions."
Reporting by ANP