Organic brands join forces to call for action on microbeads

Four leading players in the organic beauty sector have added their voices to the campaign to ban the use of microplastics – or microbeads – in personal care products.

Neal’s Yard Remedies, Pai, Green People and Botanical Brands have written an open letter to the prime minister, David Cameron, urging the UK Govenment to take a lead on the issue to coincide with World Oceans Day (today).

They write: “Microplastics in personal care products are used for mere seconds before becoming oceanic pollution. Removing microplastics from products is the most efficient and cost-effective way of stopping this pollution, yet many in the personal care industry are dragging their feet on this issue. We believe that the most comprehensive and expeditious manner to stop microplastics being used in these products is for the government to pursue a legislative route. Furthermore we hope it will cause those in the industry to act more carefully in future regarding needlessly polluting ingredients.”

“None of our companies use microplastic ingredients for any function in any of our products, and feel that the quality of our products does not suffer due to this absence. We have also found many of our customers are reassured that they are not contributing to the growing problem of microplastic pollution when using our products.”

But they warn warn that many companies in the wider personal care industry continue to “drag their feet on the issue” – and they say that voluntary approaches have largely failed. “We now feel that given the voluntary approach has proven neither comprehensive nor expeditious enough, the government should pursue a legislative route and ban microplastics being used in such products. It would furthermore send a clear message that use of ingredients that have such negative impacts for so little gain will not be permitted.”