Environmental non-governmental organizations have backed the call from Cosmetics Europe to phase out the use of microplastics in wash-off cosmetic and personal care products.
Cosmetics Europe represents more than 4,000 member companies in the cosmetics and personal care industry.
Earlier this month, the association issued a recommendation to halt the use of solid plastic microparticles in cosmetic and personal care products.
These are found particularly in face scrubs, shampoos, shower gels and toothpaste.
Following the announcement, Laura Foster, head of pollution at the Marine Conservation Society said: “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, emphasizing the widely available alternatives first, towards an all-encompassing discontinuation of unsustainable solid microplastics in personal care and cosmetic products.”
In addition, Emma Priestland, marine litter policy officer of Seas At Risk, said 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.”
Cosmetics Europe President Loïc Armand, said: “In adopting this recommendation, Cosmetics Europe and its membership are addressing public concerns, and committing to work with regulators on a science based approach to the issue of plastic microparticles. We are also committed to building, with other international associations, global alignment of the cosmetics industry on this issue.”