Retailers to phase out use of microbeads

Retailers in Singapore are taking steps to phase out the use of microbeads in beauty products.

A Guardian Health and Beauty spokesman told The Sunday Times that Guardian Singapore has banned microbeads from its new rinse-off cosmetics and personal care products here since early this year. All its own-brand products will be free of microbeads by the end of next year.

NTUC FairPrice said that products containing microbeads at its stores mostly have biodegradable or water-soluble microbeads.

"Only two manufacturers supply such products that contain plastic microbeads, but assured that they will replace (them) by 2018 with more environmentally-friendly options," a spokesman said. NTUC Health's Unity Pharmacy said it does not make such products.

A. S. Watson Group's website said its subsidiaries have banned the use of microplastic in their own rinse-off cosmetics and personal care scrub products since 2014. Such own-brand products will be removed from shelves by next year.

The retailers did not say if they would ban all products containing microbeads from shelves.

Major consumer-product makers like Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble say they will stop the use of microbeads next year.

Samantha Boh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 16, 2016, with the headline 'Retailers to phase out use of microbeads'. Print Edition | Subscribe