Taiwan to ban all cosmetics containing microbeads

Microbeads are added to soaps and shampoos to make them clean better.

Image Strait Times

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan is soon going to ban all cosmetic products that contain microbeads. Likely to take place from July 2018, this new initiative is a step ahead towards environmental protection.

Many cleansing cosmetic products contain microbeads, which are tiny plastic particles almost invisible to the naked eye. These microbeads are added to products like shampoos and soaps to make them clean better.

Such products will be banned in Taiwan from July 2018, according to the Environmental Protection Administration.

The ban, which follows similar measures overseas, including in the United States and Britain, will cover products including shampoo, cosmetics, facial scrubs, body wash, soap, deodorant and toothpaste.

Products which are found to contain microbeads, whether imported or domestic-produced, shall face fines of NT$60,000 to NT$300,000 (US$1,987 to US$9,936); retailers that sell the prohibited products will be fined NT$1,200 to NT$6,000.

It has been scientifically proven that microbeads are one of the major reasons for severe water pollution, damage to marine life and the environment.

Such beads are mostly non-biodegradable and are ingested by fish and other marine life. They are a serious threat to human life, as humans might consume the fish which ingested these beads.

These microbeads are extremely small in size, which prevents them from being filtered out by consumers or at sewage treatment facilities and are ultimately released into the environment, where they leach hazardous chemicals.

A study by researchers from Plymouth University revealed that a single wash can release up to 94,500 toxic microbeads into the environment.