Sweden puts a ban on microplastics in rinse-off cosmetic products
Products such as toothpaste, shower gel or body and face scrubs affected
At present, there’s a controversial discussion going on regarding the use of plastics in general and microplastics in cosmetic products in particular – the EU is preparing a ban. But Sweden thinks this takes way too long and this is why a ban was put on microplastics in some cosmetic products in the Far North as early as the first of July last year.
Microplastics banned in rinse-off products
Microplastics are any plastic particles smaller than five millimetres. As these minute plastic particles mainly coming from rinse-off cosmetic products enter wastewater systems and/or the oceans, Sweden has banned the use of microplastics in so-called rinse-off products, such as toothpaste, shower gel or face and body scrubs. With this ban, the Far North gets in ahead of the EU’s plastic prohibition plans and is also a big step ahead of Germany where it is up to the manufacturers of cosmetic products whether they use microplastics or not.
The damage caused by microplastics may be greater than their benefits
Microplastics are used in body care products, mainly because of their abrasive effect – in shower gel, for example – which efficiently removes flaky, dry skin, or in toothpaste as an abrasive to take off hard-to-remove plaques. But microplastics are suspected of getting enriched with toxins; they enter the food chain via seafood and from there re-enter the human organism where microplastics affect the function of body cells according to a study conducted by the German Federal Environmental Protection Agency. Plastic particles have already been found in marine fish, mussels, marine birds and plankton.
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