To mark World Ocean Day 2015, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has released details of retailers and brands who are supporting its Scrub It Out campaign and promising to remove microplastics from their personal care products.
Commitments come from companies such as ARK Skincare and Botanical Brands as well as high street retailers including Boots and Lush. In a statement released on the MCS website, Botanical Brands said, “Botanical Brands are committed to sourcing brands with the highest ethical standards and as such all our brands have always been free from microplastic ingredients and always will be free of microplastics.”
The campaign is part of a joint initiative with Fauna and Flora International (FFI) and was a direct result of discussions between retailers and conservation organisations regarding marine litter. Microplastics are a major threat to marine wildlife and are used in everyday beauty products such as face scrubs and shower gels. The tiny particles of plastic present in these products can sometimes be too small to be removed by wastewater treatments and can therefore end up in oceans, where they can be absorbed or eaten by marine life. According to MSC, the plastics cause direct health problems to the wildlife and also pass potentially harmful chemicals back up the food chain, possibly back to humans.
Tanya Cox, Projects Manager for Marine Plastics at FFI, said that the associations have been working on removing microplastics with cosmetics manufacturers for several years: “Through this, we and our partners, including MCS, have been able to secure a number of high-profile commitments from multi-national corporations to phase out plastic microbeads.”