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Waitrose will no longer stock products containing microbeads

1st September 2016

Starting this month, Waitrose, one of ecoVeritas’ largest clients, has pledged that it will no longer sell products containing microbeads. It is the first supermarket to take this step and builds on the fact that they’ve already removed them from their own-brand beauty products.

Microbeads are miniscule pieces of plastic that are added into many cosmetic products including toothpastes, face scrubs, lipsticks and many others. They are thought to provide exfoliation and are popular in many beauty brands but the tide against them is rising. When microbeads are used in cosmetic products, they tend to get washed down the drain and end up in the ocean and problematically the food chain. As they are so small marine life can mistake them for food and can ingest them unwittingly.

Due to concerns regarding their environmental effects many countries are taking steps to cut them out of production, with the Obama Administration passing legislation banning them at the end of last year. Tor Harris, Waitrose’s Head of Sustainability and responsible sourcing, said: “Minimising our impact on the environment is a top priority and this is absolutely the right thing to do. Although the changes we’re making don’t seem dramatic, they are likely to have a positive impact for marine life”.