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Group lauds consensus to ban plastic microbeads

Waste and pollution watch group EcoWaste Coalition has lauded the support of various sectors for a legislative measure that will prohibit the use of plastic microbeads in rinse-off personal care products. 

Group lauds consensus to ban plastic microbeads
The EcoWaste Coalition urges the government to ban plastic microbeads in personal care and cosmetic products.
In last week’s hearing of the Committee on Ecology of the House of Representatives, government, industry, and civil society representatives voiced their support for House Bill 8120, particularly with respect to banning plastic microbeads, a known ocean pollutant, in rinse-off personal care products such as facial cleansers, body washes, toothpastes, and others.

“The broad support for the proposal to ban plastic microbeads in rinse-off personal care products will facilitate the bill’s expedited approval by lawmakers,” said Thony Dizon, EcoWaste Coalition’s chemical safety campaigner.

Ako Bicol party-list representatives Rodel M. Batocabe, Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr., and Christopher S. Co. co-authored HB 8120, or the proposed “Microplastic Ban Act of 2018.” 

“The passage of the bill as amended will help in addressing the escalating threat of microplastic pollution to the health of the oceans and aquatic life,” said Dizon.

He added, “We hope that a parallel bill will be introduced soon at the Senate to speed up the ban on plastic microbeads.”

The extremely tiny plastic microbeads in personal care products go down the drain and into waterways, polluting the oceans with microplastics that can attract and absorb hazardous chemicals, including persistent organic pollutants, which are consumed by fish and other marine organisms that mistake them for food, Dizon explained.

At the hearing, Emil Virtudes, president of the Chamber of Cosmetics Industry of the Philippines, expressed industry support for the measure as he cited the statement made by the ASEAN Cosmetic Association recommending to its members “the discontinuation of the use of plastic microbeads in rinse-off personal care products” for the protection of the marine environment.

Group lauds consensus to ban plastic microbeads
Tiny plastic microbeads in personal care products go down the drain and into waterways, polluting the oceans with microplastics.
Meanwhile, Engr. Ana Rivera, director of the FDA Center for Cosmetics Regulation and Research, proposed, among other pertinent points, an amendment to the bill’s definition of plastic microbeads so as not to limit the scope or coverage of the bill. As an example, she cited the definition by the Global Plastic Task Force for plastic microbeads as “any intentionally added, 5 mm or less, water-insoluble, the solid plastic particle used to exfoliate or cleanse in rinse-off personal care products.”

Topics: EcoWaste Coalition , plastic microbeads , personal care products , Committee on Ecology , House of Representatives
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