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Cosmetics industry supports a global agreement to address plastics pollution

In many parts of the world, the burden of plastics waste on the environment has increased dramatically in recent decades. Global production of plastics has risen sharply over the last 70 years and more and more plastics waste is entering the sea. Under the auspices of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA), the governments of many countries are, therefore, discussing a global instrument to address marine litter and plastics pollution.

Cosmetics Europe and IKW, together with other national associations of the beauty and personal care industry, support a legally binding treaty that will address plastics pollution of the environment. Specifically, the treaty is about achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to these, the transition to a circular economy and the end of plastics pollution should be achieved gradually by improving waste management and recycling systems, promoting innovation and eco-design, and reducing the production and use of virgin plastic where possible and beneficial to the environment.

For the cosmetics industry, product safety and quality are top priorities and research into innovative and sustainable products is a key concern for manufacturers - as can be observed on the development of alternative packaging materials and innovative distribution models, such as refilling packaging. At the same time, the cosmetics and personal care industry also recognises the importance of plastics in achieving the goals set by the United Nations. Plastics can play an important role in achieving a circular economy. In many cases, plastics, especially when recycled and reused properly, may have a lower carbon footprint, that makes them a better alternative for the protection of our environment.

The signed paper can be accessed here.


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