Microplastic particles less than 5mm in diameter that do not degrade or dissolve in water. Microbeads, as they are called in rinse-off products, are used for cleaning and exfoliating purposes.
Synthetic plastic particles manufactured in different shapes and sizes.
Consumer concerns and what we know
There is concern regarding the potential damaging effect of microbeads on aquatic life due to composition and shape, as well as the potential transfer to humans through the food chain. These microbeads remain in the environment as they are almost impossible to remove with existing technology.
In December 2015, a regulation to reduce the amount of microbeads reaching waterways was established in the US, and microbeads in cosmetic rinse-off products have been banned in most countries.
Microbeads from cosmetics account for less than 2% of plastic pollution in the marine environment, and their long-term environmental effect is still being studied.
We have not used microbeads in rinse-off products since 2018, and we carefully follow advancements in microplastic research and regulations in order to prepare for agile action.