Top beauty brands accused of refusing MPs’ call for hearing on microplastics

The United Kingdom’s biggest splendor manufacturers have been accused via an influential MP of displaying contempt for their customers by refusing to appear in parliament to reply questions about the effect that their products are having on the oceans.

MPs on the environmental audit committee will listen on Wednesday from The UK and Eu cosmetics exchange our bodies on the damage resulting from plastic ‘microbeads’ in cosmetics, which are unsuitable for meals through marine life.

But Proctor & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, L’Oreal, Unilever, and Johnson & Johnson refused the committee’s invitation to the hearing, in keeping with EAC chair, Mary Creagh.

Top beauty brands accused of refusing MPs' call for hearing on microplastics

Top beauty brands accused of refusing MPs’ call for hearing on microplastics

“Beauty groups want to come back smooth about the pollutants that plastic microbeads are inflicting. L’Oreal, Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser and Johnson & Johnson are displaying contempt for their clients with the aid of refusing to answer questions from MPs approximately the damage their private care merchandise are doing to our waters,” the Labour MP stated, in advance of the listening to.

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“In a democracy, groups ought to be accountable, responsible and obvious to their clients; maximum of whom could be horrified to study the harm their face scrubs are doing to the environment.”

The manufacturers can be represented on the hearing by means of John Chave, director popular, Cosmetics Europe and Dr Chris Flower, director popular of the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Perfumery Affiliation. Johnson and Johnson, L’Oreal and Unilever said they had submitted written evidence to the committee and would be represented in character via the change our bodies.

In current years, parliamentary pick out committees have had excessive-profile tussles with witnesses who’ve to begin with refused to attend to deliver evidence. Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley who first of all declined an invitation to attend the commons commercial enterprise, innovation and talents committee referring to parliamentarians as “a comic story”, But in the end modified his thoughts and appeared before MPs on Tuesday.


The united states has already passed a ban on microbeads in private care merchandise, and a poll in April located two-thirds of the British public guide a ban. The beads are used as an exfoliant in products, However alternatives are to be had and dozens of manufacturers have already ended the usage of microbeads or set a date for his or her segment out.

Kerry McCarthy, the shadow environment secretary, stated 550m microbeads were washed into United kingdom waters every day, and stated their use must be banned.


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“The Tories were reluctant to expose management, who prefer to depend upon the voluntary movement of others. There’s no want for microbeads in cosmetics, and no motive to put off. If the authorities is extreme approximately banning microbeads, we want to look some actual movement now,” she said.

An L’Oreal spokesman stated: “L’Oréal is strongly dedicated to improve its environmental effect and, as we announced in January 2014, will not use microbeads of polyethylene in our scrubs through 2017.”

A spokeswoman for Johnson and Johnson said: “In 2013, we have become one of the first corporations to voluntarily commit to doing away with polyethylene microbeads from our non-public care merchandise globally. Our aim is to take away microbeads from our merchandise globally with the aid of the stop of 2017.”

Unilever stated it had phased out plastic scrub beads through the cease of 2014.

A spokeswoman for Reckitt Benckiser stated: “RB has only a few products that contain polyethylene plastic beads, However we’ve already all started the segment out of those substances. We’ve got stopped developing new merchandise containing plastic beads and are rolling out a global segment-out in 2016 and 2017, so that you can be complete by using the quit of 2018.”

One by one on Wednesday, London zoo and Whipsnade, The United Kingdom’s largest zoo, stated they could now not stock unmarried use plastic water bottles, to lessen plastic pollutants.

Kathryn England, head of business at the Zoological Society of London, said: “through doing away with unmarried-use plastic water bottles from our cabinets, we’re no longer the simplest lowering our personal effect on the oceans, However establishing our traffic’ eyes to the trouble and displaying them how clean it is able to be to undertake extra sustainable options.”