The fight against micro plastics has taken another leap forward after Seas At Risk’s Dutch member the North Sea Foundation successfully lobbied the Dutch government to call for a European wide ban of micro plastics in cosmetics.

The fight against micro plastics has taken another leap forward after Seas At Risk’s Dutch member the North Sea Foundation successfully lobbied the Dutch government to call for a European wide ban of micro plastics in cosmetics.

State Secretary Mansveld of the Department of Infrastructure and the Environment presented her arguments for a ban to the Dutch Government last April, and since then the call has progressed to the European Union. The Dutch Government submitted a note to the Environment Council that was heard at the final meeting of Environment Ministers before the end of the Irish Presidency. The Netherlands delegation expressed concern at the level of micro plastics to be found in the marine environment, and this was supported by other delegations and the Commission.

As an intermediate measure, the Dutch Government is now working closely with the North Sea Foundation and the Plastic Soup Foundation to raise awareness amongst consumers of the damage caused by tiny particles of plastic that can be found in many everyday cosmetic products, such as shower gel and toothpaste. In December of last year, after an intense twitter pressure campaign initiated by the North Sea Foundation and joined by Seas At Risk, cosmetics giant Unilever agreed to phase out micro plastics from their products by 2015. More and more cosmetics manufacturers are following their example and voluntarily phasing out micro plastics from their products, but a Europe wide ban would ensure that it occurs quicker and across the board.

The North Sea Foundation has expressed hope that other Member States will support the call for a ban, as the presence of micro plastics in the sea must be considered when assessing environmental status under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive


More Information:

Dutch Government press release

 

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