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."
Albert 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). www.ah.nl
"Ali Mac Skincare Ltd produce a beautiful range of Natural and Organic Skincare whose product range ingredients are entirely free from all solid microplastic ingredients. Ali Mac Skincare’s entire product range was developed with an awareness and have always been free from microplastic ingredients and will always be free from microplastics." www.alimacskincare.com
“ALL NATURAL SOAP Co. always has been and always will be entirely opposed to the use of plastics and microplastics in its soap products. Our entire soap range is not only 100% plastic free; all our soaps and the exfoliating agents we use are also totally biodegradable. Examples of the scrubbing particles weuse a re poppy seeds, carrot powder, various seaweeds and flower petals.”
"ARK Skincare is proud that our facial exfoliators are free-from microplastic ingredients. We have made a commitment to always exclude microplastics from all new products. This includes our new Triple Effect Exfoliator, launching Summer 2015. We can confirm that the new product range launching in 2015 will be entirely free from microplastics."
"We take our responsibility to the environment seriously. As such we understand the importance of removing Microplastics from all of our own brand products and have been working hard to do so. Our commitment by the end of 2015 is that all new & existing products will be free from Microplastics."
"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."
According 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.
“As a small independent British company B-Line is proud to be among the first to respond to the growing environmental concerns about the use of solid microplastic ingredients in the beauty industry. Having researched alternatives B-Line Body and Sole Exfoliant has therefore been re-formulated using natural bamboo powder to create an effective ‘scrub’ effect. Bamboo powder is our preferred alternative to microbeads, enabling us to maintain our high quality standards while helping support the Beat the Microbead campaign. It replaces our previous formulation from November 2015. We can confirm no other B-Line products have ever contained, or do contain, solid microplastic ingredients, nor will they be used in any future product development.” (October 2015)
“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).
“ ... We stopped using plastic microbeads in the development of all new Boots own brands and Boots exclusive Beauty and Personal Care products in February 2014. In addition we are already reformulating our Boots own brands and Boots exclusive Beauty and Personal Care products by replacing all plastic microbeads with ingredients that do not have an adverse sustainability impact. Reformulation will be complete and manufacture ceased by the end of December 2015 at the latest, with the majority completed well in advance of this deadline. We are also carefully managing our stock to ensure that the vast majority of old-formulation products will be out of stores well before the end of December 2015.”
"As a distributor of organic and natural skincare, 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. In particular, Living Nature and Botanicals who produce exfoliating scrubs and masks always opt for safe, natural ingredients which will not harm the skin or the environment. This is a no-compromise issue for us and we are proud to support this initiative."
"Bulldog Skincare For Men have never used microplastic ingredients in any of our products and we can confirm that the quality of our products do not suffer due to the absence of microplastics. Furthermore, many of our customers are reassured that they are not contributing to the growing problem of microplastic pollution by using our products."
"As a leading cosmetic house, Clarins greatly values it's image as being a leader in social responsibility and will continue to work tirelessly to offer the best products in terms of safety and efficacy for our customers, together with the sustainability for our planet and our environment. Last year, concerns were raised about the usage of plastic micro-beads in cosmetic products for their exfoliating properties. While they are completely inert, very effective and extremely well tolerated by the skin, in view of the known impact that plastic microparticles have on the environment, we ceased manufacturing products containing this ingredient in December 2014. We can confirm that Clarins research has found an alternative to substitute microbeads with more respectful components. The new component is Cellulose, which is 100% natural, as well as being equally efficient, perfectly tolerated and maintaining our stringent quality and safety requirements."
According 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).
"The Co-op do not have any own-brand products that contain microbeads. The Co-op’s policy is not to use solid microplastics and only use natural or biodegradable 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.
DA announced in November 2013 that it would replace the microbeads in their footscrubs in half a year. They kept their promise. Now, all DA-products are microbead-free! (September 2014)
DM 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).
"Eccobella has never used the polluting plastic microbeads. We make an excellent exfoliating product using alpha hydroxy acids. We object to the use of plastic microbeads and are ashamed of the beauty industry and the executives who authorized the manufacturing and sale of microbead-laden products. We call on all consumers to boycott the companies who manufacture and sell products containing these egregious formulas".
"Elements Natural Skin Care for Men by Collinsworth confirm that all products produced by Collinsworth Ltd are free from solid microplastic ingredients. Collinsworth have never used microplastics in any products and can guarentee that they will never use microplastics in any future formulations. "
Etos 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).
"Green People confirm that all of their products are free from solid plastic, and any new formulations will also be free from solid plastic."
Grupo Boticário (Brazil) let's us know that they are researching possible replacements for microbeads in their scrubs. (July 2014). The study will be concluded at the end of 2014 (September 2014).
Hema 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).
Henkel announced that it will start using alternative ingredients for two products containing microbeads (September 2012).
Ikea decides to stop purchasing of products containing microplastics and will never again include them in any of its offerings (June 2013).
J&J promised in a statement on their website that they are ‘phasing out and will eliminate the use of polyethylene microbeads in personal care products by the end of 2017.’ And: ‘Our goal is to complete the first phase of reform- ulations by the end of 2015, which represents about half our products sold that contain microbeads’.(march 2015)
Kruidvat, 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).
According 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).
The 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 are now free of microbeads (May 2014).
"M&S has committed to removing plastic microbeads from M&S own brand personal care products, including Formula and Pure. All existing and new products and formulations manufactured from 2016 onwards will be free from plastic microbeads."
"None of our Own Brand health and beauty products contain these microplastics and our Chemicals Policy prohibits their use. During our Own Brand development process we will always look to use alternative naturally sourced exfoliants that are available and approved for use within the cosmetic and toiletry industry."
Nature Cosmetics in South America will replace microbeads in their care products with natural ingredients by 2016. They will use bamboo and rice as an alternative for microplastics.
NBTY Europe promised that all products of their 19 brands will be be without micro plastics by January 2014 (October 2013).
“Neal’s Yard Remedies has never - and will never - use plastic ingredients in any of its products and would strongly encourage all companies to end this unsustainable practice.
Oral B (Procter and Gamble Australia) begun removing micobeads from their products. Oral B toothpastes will be microbead-free by March 2016.
"At Pai, we're committed to making the most ethical and sustainable choices wherever possible. None of our products ever have, or will, contain solid microplastic ingredients.”
"We are proud of our plastic free scrubs for face and body and I confirm that the entire product range of Palmer’s is free from all solid microplastic ingredients. Palmer’s have never used and will never use microplastics in any of our products. I think that the Good Scrub Guide is a great initiative. It is important to let our customers know that our scrubs are not only kind to skin but also kind to our environment."
Statement that all products will be free from microplastics in 2017 (June 2013).
"PHB Ethical Beauty has never and will never use microplastic ingredients in any of its products. Our entire product range is free from all solid microplastic ingredients.
Products which did contain microplastic beads are reformulated in time of their target line of mid-2015. This achievement extends to all plastic ingredients across all PZ Cussons brands and product lines, inlcuding Charles Worthington, Fudge, Fudge Urban, Sanctuary Spa, St. Tropez, Carex, Cussons Baby, Imperial Leather, Luksja, Mum & Me, Original Source, Premier and Robb. It is important to note that there will still be some older products containing microplastic beads in the supply chain and these are identifiable by checking the labelling back of pack.
All products of Remark Group (with the brands Zarqa, Vogue, Therme) are now microbead-free (April 2014).
Immediately 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).
Santesa 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).
“We take our responsibilities to protect the environment very seriously which is why we led the way by stopping the production of Sainsbury’s personal care products containing micro-plastics in 2013. Following this, we expect any of our products containing micro-plastics to be sold through within the next year.” www.sainsburys.co.uk
“I, Vivienne McAlister-Geertz, owner of handmade skincare business, Simply Skin, confirm that microbeads have never been used in any of our products. Since the company was founded in The Netherlands in November 2011, we have only incorporated natural exfoliants, such as salts and fruit seeds, in our products."
“Sodashi does not condone the use of microplastics in personal care products of any sort: we never have, and never will, use microplastic ingredients in any of our products."
"Superdrug launched in 2014 a new policy that no new Own Brand products, including Superdrug Extracts and B., should include microplastics. In addition we have committed to reformulate all Own Brand exfoliators, the only products to include microplastics, to remove them. This work is in progress and will be complete by the end of 2016."
"There's no grey area in regards to a commitment to sustainable skincare, and certainly no blurred lines when it comes to our ingredients. Our face and body scrubs are free from damaging plastic beads and instead are replaced with natural, bio degradable resources such as nut shells, bamboo and jojoba ester beads to form gentle exfoliation for our skin and for the earth."
"Swisse Wellness Pty Ltd is proud to confirm that all Swisse products across the entire skincare range are free from solid micro plastic ingredients. Swisse has never used micro plastics in any of its skincare products, and any new formulations will also be free from solid micro plastic ingredients."
"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."
“Tesco is committed to removing all plastic microbeads from across our own-brand project range, including Tesco, Tesco Kids, Along Came Betty, My Skin and Pro Formula, by 2017. Any new formulations or new products we launch from 2016 onwards will be free from plastic microbeads.”
Trekpleister, 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).
“Our brand is built on foundations of ethical, environmental and social responsibility and holds NATRUE Natural Cosmetics Certification. Our entire range of natural skincare products has always been and will always continue to be free of microbeads.
The Austrian company announced that all products containing microplastics will be changed (January 2013).
De 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).
"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).
All products are free of microplastics. The Dr. Van der Hoog brand has replaced all microbeads with alternatives (June 2013).
"Waitrose is happy to confirm that all its own brand products in all its range are free from solid plastic, and any new formulations will also be free from solid plastic." www.waitrose.com
"Here at Wilko, we take our pledge to be a Responsible Business seriously. As part of this responsibility, we do our very best to source ingredients for our Own Label products that don’t harm people or the environment. And it’s why we’ve made the decision to remove all solid microplastic ingredients from our Own Label Health & Beauty products. We’re working hard to re-formulate all of our current range. By the end of 2015, we’re pleased to tell you that we’ll have removed the plastic ingredients from most of these products and replaced them with lovely, natural alternatives. But our work doesn’t stop there, and by 2017, all of the Health & Beauty products you’ll find in our stores and online won’t contain any plastic ingredients at all. We’re a business that’s passionate about our products and we’ll continue to make sure that any new Health & Beauty products we share with you are also free from microplastic ingredients."