We understand microplastics to refer to solid, insoluble plastic particles that are five millimeters or smaller and are not biodegradable. These can enter rivers and oceans via wastewater and accumulate there permanently.
As a first and important steps, we do not use any "microbeads" in our Laundry products worldwide.
These materials were previously used in individual products as peeling or abrasive particles.
In a second step, we have already started eliminating opacifiers - made from solid synthetic plastics and used for aesthetic reasons mainly- from our consumer products. From 2020 onwards, we will only use natural or biodegradable opacifiers in our consumer products worldwide. We have also initiated projects to eliminate certain types of perfume encapsulation - used for creating long lasting fragrances with less perfume – which are discussed as microplastics. Plan is to replace all synthetic perfume encapsulation with biodegradable solutions by 2022 at the latest.
To prevent improper disposal of our plastic product packaging from contributing to ocean pollution, we are striving for a closed-loop economy for plastics that is similar to existing systems for paper and waste paper. We will continue to increase the recyclability of our packaging, while also increasing the percentage of recycled material in our packaging.
Learn more about microplastic on Henkel Website.