Caviar Manicures and the Microbead-Free Waters Act

    At the end of February, I reported on the Microbead-Free Waters Act, the bill that may outlaw the exfoliating microbeads found in face and body scrubs due to environmental damage. Read more about it in this blog post.

    cavimanimicrobead

    Curious about what other products this law may affect, I reached out to Michiel Abbing of Plastic Soup Foundation, one of the forces behind the Beat the Microbead campaign. I was specifically curious about the beads that are so popular for nail art. He responded:

    Not only polyethylene, but a whole range of plastics will be forbidden if the law gets into force, also for nail art etc., because the definition used is:

    THE TERM “MICROBEAD” SHALL MEAN ANY PLASTIC COMPONENT OF A PERSONAL
    COSMETIC PRODUCT MEASURED TO BE FIVE MILLIMETERS OR LESS IN SIZE.

    He also provided me with the link to the full bill, which you can read here.

    The bill goes as far as to define personal cosmetic product to mean:

    (A) ARTICLE INTENDED TO BE RUBBED, POURED, SPRINKLED, OR SPRAYED ON, INTRODUCED INTO, OR OTHERWISE APPLIED TO THE HUMAN BODY OR ANY PART THEREOF FOR CLEANSING, BEAUTIFYING, PROMOTING ATTRACTIVENESS, OR ALTERING THE APPEARANCE, AND (B) ARTICLE INTENDED FOR — USE AS A COMPONENT OF ANY SUCH ARTICLE. THE TERM “PERSONAL COSMETIC PRODUCT” SHALL NOT INCLUDE ANY PRODUCT FOR WHICH A PRESCRIPTION IS REQUIRED FOR DISTRIBUTION OR DISPENSATION AS PROVIDED IN SECTION TWO HUNDRED EIGHTY-ONE OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW OR SECTION SIX THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED TEN OF THE EDUCATION LAW.

    Bye bye, caviar manis!

    There hasn’t been any more developments regarding the proposal, but be sure to follow my blog in some way to get any updates.

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    28 COMMENTS

    1. So the ban is specifically inclusive of all personal care products. I know many crafters/scrap-bookers use these beads occasionally. What are the implications there? or is it only if the product gets put down the drain? Hope so, as I love the little beads on craft items, on nails …..eh, not so much. Glad to hear they’ll put a stop to that and the scrub crew using artificial scrubbers. What’s wrong with natural scrubs? Leave it to the money-making co.s to seek the cheaper mass-production appealing alternative to nature. Seems almost EVERY TIME this backfires and STILL they don’t realise or care. BIG HUFF and Sigh!

      • I don’t think it will have affect on the scrapbooking/crafting community. This is specifically for beauty/hygiene products where the beads are more prone to getting rinsed down the drain. Natural scrubs seem to work better on me anyway!

    2. Great post! I never would have thought about caviar manis. Wouldn’t it be cool if they came up with something biodegradable that actually stayed on the nail longer than 5 minutes?

    3. I’ve never tried this trend. Although it looks great in the photo above, I won’t be missing it since I haven’t worn it ha

    4. Thank you for sharing! Looks like they’re singling out “plastic components” 5mm or less in size, however, most nail beads are made of glass and not plastic, and glass is not a harmful material, since animals routinely ingest bits and pieces of sand. I’m not advocating for beads in any way, just curious if they will ban all small particles in skincare, even those of natural origin.

    5. Oh interesting! I knew about the microbeads being a problem but for some reason didn’t even think of the caviar manicures. Yep, those will be going buh-bye, too.

    6. I have been reading about this for quite a while, now and frankly it is long past time action was taken. We can scrub out faces and bodies with sugar and other naturally sourced rough substances that won’t cause harm to our bodies of water and the creatures that live in them. As for caviar manicures, I was never a fan, so the loss of them is no biggie to me, personally. 🙂

    7. Doesn’t surprise me, nor does it bother me. Never liked the look of those caviar manicures, plus I always thought they’d be a pain in the butt to try to do everyday stuff with them (which your experiment with them confirmed!). I did realize, though, after you made that post about the microbeads, that my Bath & Body Works hand soap has them in it! *sad face* I just hope they (B&BW) keep making them, just without the beads. I have the Winter Candy Apple (still! Got it on clearance after the holidays for crazy cheap!) and I lovelove how it smells!

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