MonoSol, A Kuraray Division, presents its services during Sepawa Congress (Stand C446). An article written by Yash Parulekar on “Microplastics: A Perspective on the Regulatory Landscape for the Cleaning Products Industry” will be released on HPC Today journal on November 20th (issue 6, 2023).
Insoluble polymeric microparticles that degrade very slowly and are practically impossible to clean up upon release into the environment have been the focus of legislation for the past few years. The estimate on the contribution of microplastics (intentionally added) from the cleaning products industry relative to the total estimated annual releases of microplastics emitted by (but not intentionally added to) products to EU surface waters is minor in magnitude yet still significant for developing regulations. We are now seeing the first wave of regulations on these microplastics being adopted with more to follow in associated fields such as packaging, personal care, home and fabric care, among others. This article attempts to capture the current state of the regulatory landscape for microplastics specifically as it applies to the cleaning products industry and explains some of the proposed derogations such as those for water-soluble and biodegradable polymers. Science-based argumentation and subsequent legislation is necessary to manage this ubiquitous issue of microplastics and the path is long but is clear it will be for the betterment of our environment.