Campaign #1: “microplastics in cosmetics and cleaning products” on the EU level
Ocean. Now!’s mission is to connect with all levels of society. On one hand that is all citizens who signed our petition. On the other, it is organisations as NGOs and businesses from the area of cosmetics and cleaning products and apps supporting our cause. Big thanks again to all of our partners Plastic Soup Foundation, Sonett, Annemarie Börlind, CleanClean, Era Zero Waste, PLANET PURE, Coscoon Cosmetics, UND GRETEL, i+m, Codecheck, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Plasticontrol and Zero Waste e.V.. Demanding change as a group is the way to go.
Around mid 2020, it turned out that the results of the so-called “Cosmetics Dialogue” (agreement from 2013 between the cosmetics industry and the German government to voluntarily remove microplastics from products by 2020) were presented as “big progress”. According to Cosmetics Europe, 97% of all cosmetics do not contain any microplastics anymore. Even if this is good to hear, there are two problems:
1) the number only refers to the category of “rinse-off” cosmetics (“leave-on” cosmetics have been ignored) and
2) liquid microplastics (more accurately “soluble synthetic polymers”) have been left out in the regulating progress so far
We are observing the “same old” issue of our society in which big lobbying power is still driving legal regulations. Radical change, which is so much needed to improve the health of our planet, comes along much too slowly!
Is there any progress with this campaign topic to be found in Germany?
Yes – finally. In 2022, the new German government has introduced a coalition contract that contains our campaign goal. It says that the German government will support an EU law that bans solid and “liquid” microplastics (synthetic polymers). We now build on this dialogue with all parties, contributing to ensuring that these words will be put into practice.
What’s coming up next?
We’ve learned that the draft of the EU law, issued by the EU Commission, can be expected in Q4 2022. This news has not been very motivating at first. We now do see this as a chance for us though to continue with our efforts to reach decision makers in both Germany and on the EU level. We are maintaining the pressure in the REACH process. We don’t let the big lobbying power by the chemistry and plastics industry override the green economy our planet so urgently needs.