During 2017, the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KEMI) will investigate if more cosmetic products should be included in a ban on plastic microparticles. KEMI has previously suggested a ban on plastic microparticles in cosmetic products that are rinsed off, such as shower creams and toothpaste. Now, the government asks the Agency to investigate if plastic particles should be banned in additional products.
An easy way to reduce the spread of micro plastics to lakes and the sea is to remove the plastic particles from products where it is not necessary, for example in personal hygiene products, says Environmental Minster Karolina Skog.
Small plastic particles, called microplastics, that are used in cosmetic products are flushed out into lakes and the sea through water treatment plants. Marine animals which filter the water to find their food, such as blue mussels and zooplankton, ingest the plastic particles and can be harmed by them. Since environmental contaminants bind harder to plastics than to naturally occurring particles it can also affect contaminant concentrations in seafood for human consumption.
Each of us, as consumers, can make environmentally sound choices by purchasing personal care cosmetic products that do not contain microplastics. See more information about it here at CCB’s Plastic Free Baltic campaign webpage.
Producers and retailers can also do their bit of work. In December 2016, Swedish online pharmacy Apotea announced that they will be discontinuing sales of all products containing microplastics. CCB is hoping to see other business following this great initiative.
Read the Swedish Governments press release here.