Plastic Microbeads in Cosmetics Ban (UK)

UPDATE 3rd August : the 2017 Regulations are now notified to the EU and to the WTO. The EU notification gives detail, and is here

A few days ago, the DEFRA Secretary of State confirmed the UK will introduce a ban on plastic microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products. Following consultation, the proposals are summarised :

(1) the ban on manufacture (England) will start 1st Jan 2018 and the ban on sale (England) will start 30th June 2018

(2) precise definitions of “microbead”, “plastic” and “rinse-off personal care product” have been developed to clearly define the scope of the ban

(3) the scope of rinse-off products will be as set out in the consultation, but DEFRA is additionally working with the Hazardous Substances Advisory Committee (HSAC) to assess the case for addressing further categories of products

(4) Trading Standards will be the regulator to manage compliance and enforcement in England

(5) enforcement in England will be carried out through a range of sanctions including variable monetary penalties, compliance notices, stop notices and enforcement undertakings

(6) the Devolved Administrations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) will consider appropriate enforcement mechanisms, regulators and timescales according to devolution settlements.

The summary of DEFRA responses is here.

Legislation is expected by the end of 2017. This is a UK initiative, and is unconnected with the EU. 

Microbeads New Legislation (UK)

The UK government is consulting, with the objective of new legislation by October 2017, to ban the sale and marketing of cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads that may harm the marine environment.

Notification of the new legislation will be by email. 

The consultation supporting document (that sets out the detail) is here.

Decabromodiphenylether (DEcaBDE) (EU)

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is calling for information to identify uses of DecaBDE where substitution may be challenging or where companies may need additional time to carry out the substitution. The information will be used in the assessment of feasibility of alternatives in the preparation of an Annex XV restriction dossier. The Agency intends to submit the restriction dossier for DecaBDE on 1 August 2014.

DecaBDE is mainly used in plastics/polymers/composite materials and by the textile industry. It is also used in adhesives and sealants, as well as in coating and inks.

ECHA states – whilst the available information suggests that it is technically possible to substitute DecaBDE in all of these applications, it is not clear, however, whether companies are facing specific challenges in substitution, or how much time would be needed to overcome possible obstacles.

ECHA invites anyone who could be affected by this possible restriction or who holds relevant information to give comments before 15 December 2013 by filling in an online questionnaire available on the ECHA website.

This call for evidence does not replace the public consultation should ECHA propose a restriction.