The #DareToCare campaign is on its way! Maybe you watched the TV coverage by the Dutch national news, Nieuwsuur, or Koffietijd? Or maybe you read one of the written articles in outlets such as The Independent, The Times, Parool, NOS or AD. Many of you scanned your cosmetics, or signed and shared the petition and informed your social circle, for which we can’t thank you enough!
Today we’d like to talk about a very important part of our campaign; the upcoming European legislation on the use of microplastics. Before you think: “Legislation? EU? Skip!”, here are some ‘fun’ facts that concern you and everyone you know:
- Our recent study shows that 87% of all cosmetics contain microplastics.
- A low estimate states that we flush around 7 kgs of microplastics from cosmetics into the environment every minute. In reality, this estimate could be up to 25 times this amount!
- New research from the VU University in Amsterdam found microplastic in 80% of their subjects’ bloodstreams for the first time in human history.
- Scientists across the board are expressing serious concerns about the use of microplastics, as we have no idea what their long-term effects on human and environmental health will be.
Imagine the wave of joy and excitement that washed through our office when we heard that the European Commission is preparing legislation to restrict the use of microplastics in cosmetics! However… When we took a closer look, it turned out that the upcoming ‘ban’ as it is, would not be so ‘ban-tastic’ for anyone other than cosmetics producers. We won’t bore you with too much legal mumbo jumbo, but we fear that there will be two major flaws in the legislation as it is now.
- Firstly, we are worried that the definition of microplastics in it will NOT cover the majority of microplastics currently used. Actually, only 4% of the ingredients from this category will be restricted, meaning 96% of microplastic pollution will go on unhindered.
- Secondly, the industry will be allowed up to 8 years to ‘adapt’ to the new legislation, allowing for an enormous amount of microplastics to end up in the environment even if producers comply.
And the thing with microplastic is, once it’s out there, it’s there to stay! Plastic is a little bit like that one annoying uncle every family has. Nobody likes him, but he’s everywhere you go, always stays till the end of the party, eats all the food, gets drunk, throws up in a plant, and then passes out. Useless, damaging, annoying, and unnecessary! Especially pollution from the forms of microplastic that might be overlooked by the upcoming legislation is irreversible, due to their liquid, microscopic, or water-soluble nature.
The new law will probably be discussed on the 21st of June. This means we can still protect ourselves and future generations if we act now and create maximum pressure on the politicians in charge. Please sign the petition and share it with as many people as you can!
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