Letter to the Editor: Lezlee Westine, President and CEO Submits Letter to the New York Times

The following letter was submitted to the New York Times Editorial Board and published online and in print on September 7, 2015.

America’s cosmetics industry is fiercely committed to product safety, quality and innovation. The Personal Care Products Council and its member companies care deeply about protecting the environment and take the presence of microbeads in the nation’s waterways very seriously.

Over the last 18 months, we have taken a leadership role in working with a wide range of environmental, government and business stakeholders on local, state and federal legislation to phase out plastic microbeads in personal care products. This includes ceasing to formulate new products with plastic microbeads in favor of other, more environmentally friendly alternatives.

We know that there are other industries that contribute to the presence of waterborne plastic microbeads, so the problem will remain even after the cosmetics industry completes its microbeads phase-out.

Any thoughtful and effective policy framework must recognize all the sources of microbeads. Furthermore, government must understand the complexities of developing viable alternatives so that our industry and others can remain vibrant, innovative and environmentally responsible.

We will continue to proactively support legislation that provides a path to removing plastic microbeads from personal care products, while avoiding a patchwork of different regulations that can make this process more difficult for manufacturers, retailers and consumers.