Cosmetic sector determined to do without microplastics by 2020

The cosmetic, detergent and cleaning products sector is committed to totally abolishing plastic microbeads in “rince-off” cosmetics and dental products by 31 December 2019. This is a first in Europe.

This commitment is part of a sectoral agreement, which the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Marie Christine Marghem, will sign Tuesday with DETIC, the Belgium-Luxembourg Association of cosmetic, detergent and cleaning products producers and distributors.

Microplastics are solid particles of less than 5 millimetres, completely or partially composed of insoluble synthetic polymers which are non-biodegradable in an aquatic environment. The pollution by these microplastics are a menace for biodiversity. Furthermore, they can end up in aquatic organisms, and finally, in the food chain.

The contracting parties of the agreement also commit themselves to communicate with companies and SMEs in particular to raise their awareness to the substitution of microplastics. Likewise, they commit to inform companies on the substitution ingredients.

At the same time, the contracting parties will organise a scientific follow-up of the general issue of microplastics by way of a follow-up committee, and an advisory committee.

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