Ban on personal care products with plastic microbeads sought in PH

/ 09:07 AM January 12, 2016

MANILA, Philippines — Environmental groups have pressed their call to ban beauty products that use harmful plastic microbeads.

The EcoWaste Coalition and Oceana Philippines have been buoyed by the ban imposed in the United States.


The two groups urged lawmakers to pass a similar law that would the manufacture of personal care products such as toothpaste, shampoo and facial and body scrubs containing plastic microbeads.

These non-biodegradable microbeads have been found to pollute waterways where they are ingested by fish and wildlife and threaten public health.


Last December 28, US President Barack Obama signed the Microbead-Free Waters Act, banning the manufacture of products containing microbeads beginning July 2017, and their sale in the next two years.

“Our Congress should follow US regulatory action on plastic microbeads and pass our own Microbead-Free Waters Act,” EcoWaste president Sonia Mendoza said.

She said plastic microbeads in personal care products went straight to the drainage system and into water bodies, soaking up toxic substances while polluting the oceans.

The contaminated microbeads are mistaken for food by fish but can not be digested, so they enter the food chain when the fish are eaten by larger animals and by people.

“These microbeads, which are often smaller than one millimeter, attract and absorb hazardous substances and can be up to a million times more toxic than the water around them according to aquatic health researchers,” Mendoza added.

Oceana Philippines vice president Gloria Estenzo-Ramos said the ban against the use of plastic microbeads in personal care products would help reduce the alarming microplastic pollution of the oceans.

“We hope that Congress will craft the necessary legislation and boost the growing movement against microbeads in cosmetics,” she said.


The groups urged lawmakers to look into Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s Senate Bill 2135, which sought to “prohibit the production, manufacture, distribution and sale of any beauty product, cosmetic or other personal care product containing plastic particles less than five millimeters in size.”

The proposed law imposes a P50,000 fine for each day a person or a corporation manufactures, sells and offers products with “intentionally added microbeads.”  SFM

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