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Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica

Jun 30, 2022

Reducing plastic in the packaging of personal care products is high on the agenda of many mainstream cosmetics’ firms, but are microplastics in cosmetics getting the same attention? Even if a brand’s packaging is plastic free, the product inside may not be. What goes into the bottle – the formulations we slather on each day – are literally riddled with micro- and nanoplastics. Shocked? So were we.

We have covered the issues of post-consumer plasticsbiodegradability and zero waste in the past. But plastic in outer packaging is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the use of plastic in the cosmetics’ industry.

An estimated 9 out of 10 mainstream personal care products may contain microplastics. These figures aren’t plucked from thin air. They come from the Plastic Soup Foundation, a single-issue environmental organisation working to stop plastic pollution at its source. The Foundation conducted scientific research into its database of over 7,000 cosmetics from 10 big brands and concluded that microplastics were present in 87% of the products analysed.

The environmental and human health impacts of these hidden plastics are now the subject not only of research, but also of proposed EU legislation. As we discover in this episode, intentionally-added microplastics are contentious and the very mention of their restriction or outright ban has seen push back from the mainstream cosmetics industry.

To unpack the data from the charged debate, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier talks to Madhuri Prabhakar, project leader and campaigner of the Beat the Microbead (BTMB) campaign by the Plastic Soup Foundation. Listen in for some shocking revelations about plastics in cosmetic formulations.