Microplastics bans and its impact on the use of fragrance encapsulation


Senior Vice President, Scientific & International Affairs of the Household & Commercial Products Association (HCPA), USA


Fragrance is a critical component of consumer and commercial products, enhancing the customer’s overall experience and, sometimes even, providing psychological benefits. Encapsulated fragrance allows formulators to create long-lasting scents while using less fragrance material. However, encapsulated fragrances will be impacted as government initiatives address microplastics in the environment. This article will discuss how fragrance manufacturers will need to navigate perceptions about toxicity and biodegradability in order to remain commercially viable and new technologies to address microplastic concerns.

When I first started formulating products in the household, institutional and industrial (HI&I) space, I would often sit down with the sales team to ensure I appropriately captured their expectations. When the team was asked how they would like the product to be scented, some simply said “make it smell nice.” However, other members of the team would have highly specific requests, such as notes of citrus, hints of pine, or the feeling of a crisp fall day. I recall being told that the most important performance criteria for laundry detergent was that clothes needed to smell fresh right out of the dryer. I could have built the world’s greatest cleaner, but if the smell wasn’t appealing to the consumer, no one was going to buy it.


The household and commercial products industry is undergoing a significant amount of change right now. Consumers are demanding more in terms of transparency, including the reduction and elimination of chemicals of concern. At the same time, governments are looking to industry to help fund underinvested recycling systems. Major shifts like these can complicate future product development planning, making it crucial for comp ...