Ebsen Lunde Larsen, the country’s minister for the environment, says he will take his concerns about the use of the microbeads to the European Commission, where he will be putting pressure on to ban the substance, according to reports in Danish media.
European legislators have fallen behind their international counterparts when it comes to legislating on microbeads, particularly compared to country’s such as Canada, the U.S. and Australia, where future bans on microbeads have already been put in place.
Keeping up with the U.S.
Most noteworthy is the ban in the U.S. – the world’s largest market for cosmetics and personal care products – where Federal legislators have implemented a ban that will go in to place by the beginning of 2018.
Although Denmark is one of the smaller 28 member states in the European Union, it has often led the way on environmental matters, and the current liberal-right government wants to be seen as maintaining this reputation.
However, as there are no cosmetic and personal care players of any significant size within Denmark, it may well be countered that implementing the ban would not have the same repercussions as many countries within the EU that have far bigger cosmetic and personal care industries.
Sweden also takes action
Back in January of this year, the Swedish Chemicals Agency Kemi proposed to ban rinse-off cosmetic products that contain plastic microbeads in Sweden, saying it should be subject of EU-wide regulation, in a new government-mandated report.
As part of the assignment, Kemi suggests the ban should apply as of 1 January 2018, and that Sweden should continue to seek to achieve an EU-wide regulation.
A proposed ban would affect products such as body scrubs and shower gels that contain plastic microbeads, referring to plastic particles that are intended to have a cleansing or scrubbing effect.
At the time the agency said it hoped its actions would also help move European legislation towards an EU-wide ban.