Companies that have pledge to stop using microbeads


After Unilever announced in December 2012 that all of its products worldwide would be plastic free by 2015, other multinationals started following suit. The Dutch Cosmetics Association informed the Dutch government that Beiersdorf, Colgate-Palmolive and L'Oréal were stopping the use of microbeads. Two other multinationals have issued similar statements. Procter & Gamble replied to a letter from 5Gyres, Marine Conservation Society and Fauna & Flora International, saying that their products would only be free from microbeads by 2017 at the earliest. Johnson & Johnson said it has already started phasing out microbeads and was no longer developing products containing microbeads.

Waste Free Oceans, the organisation established by the European Plastic Recycling Industry to clear plastic from coastal waters, issued a press release in January 2013, congratulating Unilever 's decision to eliminate microplastics from all of its personal care products. Waste Free Oceans called this a very important initiative that will greatly benefit the quality of the oceans and seas. The organisation called on other cosmetics producers to also shoulder responsibility and follow Unilever’s example "to avoid the use of micro plastics in their products and carefully consider their design in order to facilitate a positive impact within the biological chain."

2014, first quarter

In a statement on its website, Johnson & Johnson said it hopes to complete the first phase of reformulations for about half of its products by the end of 2015. The remaining products will be reformulated once substitutes are identified.

2014, second quarter

Target Corporation removes microbeads from all products. Target Corporation (United States and Canada) has written the following statement regarding microbeads (email April 2, 2014 to UpGyres): "We are aware of the microbead topic and have taken steps to address it. Within our owned brand products, we have been working with our vendors to remove microbeads. Our owned brand facial skin care products will no longer have microbeads later this year. This is our first step in addressing microbeads and we are exploring ways to address it in other product categories. Our goal is to remove microbeads from all our owned brand products by the end of 2015."

2014, third quarter

Avon will no longer use synthetic plastic microbeads as exfoliants and cleansing agents in the development of new rinse-off products such as face and body washes. Avon will also begin phasing out the use of synthetic plastic microbeads as exfoliants and cleansers from existing products as soon as they have completed qualification of suitable alternatives.

Crest (Procter & Gamble) declares in a statement that it has begun phasing out microbeads from its products, a process that will be completed by March 2016. 

Nature Cosmetics in South America will replace microbeads in their care products with natural ingredients by 2016. 

2014, fourth quarter

Oral B (Procter and Gamble Australia) begun removing micobeads from their products. Oral B toothpastes will be microbead-free by March 2016.

Selected statements from companies halting the use of micro plastics

Albert HeijnAlbert Heijn is part of the Royal Ahold group. "In the course of 2014, our own Albert Heijn and Etos brands will be plastic microbead free." (September 2013).


BeiersdorfAccording to a statement provided by the Dutch Cosmetics Association to the Dutch government, Beiersdorf will stop using microplastics (June 2013). "We believe that microplastics, precisely because they are not water-soluble, are collected in water treatment plants. However, we listen to our customers and are therefore looking for a substitute. It is difficult to give a date as to when an alternative will be ready. (...) We expect this to occur within the next couple of years." From an email to Danish news program Kontant (April 2013). Recently they promised to replace worldwide all their products with microbeads before the end of 2015. See statement here.


Body Shop“As part of our commitment to help save the planet, we’ll be phasing out microbeads from all of our products by 2015” (April 2013).


DM DrogerijDM has fulfilled its promise and replaced all microplastics in the products from the brands Balea, Alverda and Dontodent with sustainable ingredients. Unfortunately their brand for kids 'Prinzessin Sternenzauber' still consist microbeads! (June 2014).


Colgate-PalmoliveAccording to a statement provided by the Dutch Cosmetics Association to the Dutch government, Colgate-Palmolive will stop using microplastics (June 2013). "We recognise concern and therefore decided, already in 2012, that we would no longer use microplastics and that we will, as quickly as possible, find alternative ingredients for our products. By the end of 2013 all products sold in Europe will be without microplastics. Globally, our aim is to phase out their use and through ongoing changes in formulas, almost all our products will be micro plastic free by 2014." From an email to Danish news program Kontant (April 2013).


EtosEtos is part of the Royal Ahold group. "In the course of 2014, our own Albert Heijn and Etos brands will be plastic microbead free" (September 2013).


HemaHema decided to no longer use microplastics. From October 2012, all Hema personal care and cosmetics will be produced without microbeads. It is expected that all products will be free of microbeads end of 2014 (January 2014).


HenkelHenkel announced that it will start using alternative ingredients for two products containing microbeads (September 2012).


IKEAIkea decides to stop purchasing of products containing microplastics and will never again include them in any of its offerings (June 2013).


Johnson & Johnson“We’ve already begun the phase out of polyethylene microbeads in our personal care products. We have stopped developing new products containing plastic microbeads.” (June 2013).


KruidvatKruidvat, part of A.S. Watson Health & Beauty Benelux, decides to stop using microplastics in its own brand of personal care products by 1 January 2014 (October 2012). From June 2013, the microbead free products are available for sale (April 2013).


LushThe production of Lush products with PET is stopped worldwide. For PET glitter, an environmentally friendly alternative is found (July 2013). Worldwide all products from Lush now free of microbeads (May 2014).


L'OréalAccording to a statement from the Dutch Cosmetics Association to the Dutch government, L' Oréal will stop using micro plastics (February 2014). “L’Oréal has decided not to develop any new products with microplastic-pearls as an exfoliating agent and we will also work to substitute these in existing product formulas, even though they are not shown to be ecotoxic.” From an email to Danish news program Kontant (April 2013).


NBTY LogoNBTY Europe promised that all products of their 19 brands will be be without micro plastics by January 2014 (October 2013).


Procter & GambleStatement that all products will be free from microplastics in 2017 (June 2013).


Unilever"Unilever has decided to phase out plastic scrub beads from personal care products. (...) We expect to complete this phase out globally by 2015 (...)." (December 2012).


Remark GroupAll products of Remark Group (with the brands Zarqa, Vogue, Therme) are now microbead-free (April 2014).


RitualsImmediately after the start of the Beat the Microbead campaign, Rituals said it had been eliminating microbeads from its products for years (August 2012). The last product with microbeads is adapted. All products are now free of microbeads (September 2014).


SantesaSantesa decided in April 2013 that their 2 products with microbeads should be replaced within a few months. They kept their promise. Their brand Dermolin, Clearskin and Dr. van der Hoog are now microbead free. (September 2014).

Van der HoogAll products are free of microplastics. The Dr. Van der Hoog brand has replaced all microbeads with alternatives (June 2013).


TrekpleisterTrekpleister, part of A.S. Watson Health & Beauty Benelux, decides to stop using microplastics in its own brand of personal care products by 1 January 2014. The last products containing microbeads have been taken off the shelves (October 2012).


Troll CosmeticsThe Austrian company announced that all products containing microplastics will be changed (January 2013).


De TuinenDe Tuinen is part of Holland & Barrett. "We are currently in the process of ensuring that suppliers do not use micro plastics in the products." (August 2012). "We also call on suppliers whose products are still not free of microplastics, to make them free." (March 2013). All products of De Tuinen are now microbead free. (september 2013).