Home FAQHas there been political activity seeking to put a ban on microplastic ingredients?

Yes and No. In December 2015, President Obama signed US-wide legislation after a number of states had introduced a ban. Since then, France, the United Kingdom (Northern Ireland, Wales, England, and Scotland), Taiwan, South Korea, Sweden, and New Zealand have also banned microbeads in rinse-off cosmetics. Following these countries, India recently announced a microbead ban which will enter force in 2020. Italy, too, has drafted legislation to ban microbeads in rinse-off cosmetics as of 1 January 2020. In addition, Italy is the first country to ban plastic cotton buds starting in 2019. The European Commission will hopefully introduce a ban as well. As optimistic as this progress sounds, most of these statewide initiatives refer only to rinse-off cosmetics and not to all microplastic ingredients used in cosmetics.

Many countries, like Australia, still prefer to rely on voluntary industrial commitments rather than enacting binding legislation. For more information on which countries are banning microplastics, check out our Impact timeline.