Three Global Perspectives on Legislation from SPC Engage

PCPC aims to support the beauty and personal care industry’s sustainability practice and reputation through programmatic elements and initiatives, by sharing best practice, stakeholder education and engagement, and strategic communications.

As consumers increasingly demand sustainability from brands and businesses face mounting investor and regulatory pressures, public policymakers around the world are looking for solutions to reduce packaging waste and progress towards a circular economy, including Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs, stewardship programs, and material bans or taxes. EPR policies recognize that a manufacturer’s responsibility for its product and packaging extends to its post-consumer use, attempting to shift some financial and management responsibility for a product’s impacts upstream to the manufacturer and away from the public sector. In doing so, these policies incentivize manufacturers to integrate environmental considerations into the design of their products and packaging.

The recent Engage 2021 virtual conference, hosted by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), focused on circular economy and EPR initiatives, highlighting legislatives activities around the globe.

By Lucy Pierce, Project Coordinator, Sustainable Packaging Coalition

Design for a Circular Economy, one of the themes of this year’s SPC Engage, highlighted programs, research, and legislation around the world helping move the idea of a functional circular economy from vision to reality. Highlights include: 

EPR Transition in Canada 

Usman Valiante from Corporate Policy Group highlighted the Canadian perspective when he said “Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs in Canada are in transition.” Currently, the EPR programs are transitioning from producers only paying for municipal recycling services to gaining operational control of the recycling systems for residents. Valiante is optimistic that this transition is creating opportunities for harmonization between residents and provinces in Canada and leading to large-scale investments in advanced sorting technology across the country. While this transition for Canada has challenges ahead, Valiante is confident the technical and political expertise of the country will support changes for the better. 

Ending Single-Use in Chile

The panel discussion “Chile’s Journey to a Circular Economy” proved that Europeans are not the only ones engaging in ongoing political action to combat the take-make-waste, linear economic model. According to the panel, Chile passed EPR legislation for packaging in 2013. This year in 2021, Chile unanimously passed a law related to banning single use-plastics and promoting reusables that were not addressed in the previous EPR law. Mark Minneboo from Plastic Oceans Chile described the new legislation as specifically designed for restaurants, delivery, and takeaway to cover more of the single use outlets in Chile. This new legislation is not meant to be an outright ban, but rather an effort towards regulation. Guillermo Gonzalez Caballero of Chile’s Ministry of the Environment added the thought that, if all single use plastics are banned, the immediate result would just be a different single use material. This law is rethinking single use by promoting reusables and preventing single use items inside food establishments. 

Onshore Development in Australia

Like the United States, Australia has a three-tiered government system in place. Federal, state, and local entities work together to manage waste and recycling for the country. The varying levels of government can make it difficult to standardize recycling collection and processing, which combined with the 2018 global impacts of China’s National Sword program, prompted Australia to implement new legislation. Brooke Donnelly of the Australian Packaging Covenant stated that the Recycling and Waste Reduction Act of 2020 is centered around ensuring Australia’s appropriate participation in the global recycling market. The legislation tightens up global market standards and aims at building domestic capacity, to rely less on the exportation of materials. As an island country and continent, this is no small task. 

Overall, these Circular Economy-centric sessions at SPC Engage 2021 shed light on the packaging and recycling legislation happening across the globe. Policy was identified as a buzzword for the development of the circular economy and paying attention to global insight is especially important to disrupt the current linear model of consumption. These sessions gave new meaning to the phrase “Think globally, act locally.” 

Statement by Alexandra Kowcz, Chief Scientist, Personal Care Products Council, Addressing a Recent Paper on Potential Presence of Benzophenone in Sunscreens Containing Octocrylene



Lisa Powers,, (202) 297-1232
Stefanie Harrington,, (202) 615-6558
Jamie Kurke,, (202) 258-5285

Washington, D.C. – “Sunscreens on the market today are backed by decades of safe use to help adults and children guard against the dangers of sun exposure, playing a critical role in the fight against skin cancer. The recently published research paper, ‘Benzophenone Accumulates Over Time from the Degradation of Octocrylene in Commercial Sunscreen Products’[1] perpetuates misinformation and needlessly misleads and scares consumers about the safety of sunscreen products, potentially discouraging sunscreen use and putting consumers’ health at risk. 

“The study claims the sunscreen ingredient octocrylene can naturally degrade into the chemical benzophenone and increase in concentration as sunscreen products age, suggesting a potential risk to human health. However, global regulatory agencies have concluded that octocrylene is safe as a UV-filter in products such as sunscreen cream and lotion, sunscreen pump spray, face creams, hand cream and lip products. It is important to note that the report’s authors concluded that additional research should be conducted.

“Octocrylene is a chemical sun filter that provides balanced UVB and UVA protection. It remains stable during sun exposure, provides better water resistance and global regulatory bodies permit its use.  Octocrylene has been approved for use as an active sunscreen ingredient by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for decades. While the FDA has asked for additional data on a number of sunscreen active ingredients (including octocrylene), the agency has clearly stated that this request does not indicate that these ingredients are unsafe. In addition, given the recognized public health benefits of sunscreen use, FDA urged consumers to continue to use sunscreen in conjunction with other sun-protection measures as FDA gathers additional scientific information. PCPC and its member companies have been actively working with the FDA to provide data that will allow an updated safety assessment of octocrylene.

“PCPC and its member companies support the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s efforts to review the state of science on currently marketed sunscreen ingredients, their fate and effects in aquatic environments, and the potential public health implications associated with changes to the use of sunscreens.

‘The European Union (EU) includes octocrylene in Annex VI of the Cosmetic Products Regulation (No 1223/2009) as an approved UV sunscreen filter. The EU’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) concluded octocrylene is safe in sunscreen products as recently as March 31, 2021.

“The FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Surgeon General, American Academy of Dermatology, Skin Cancer Foundation, and health professionals worldwide consistently advocate for the use of broad-spectrum sunscreens as part of a safe-sun regimen. Nonprofit health organizations and government agencies recommend using sunscreens as part of a safe-sun regimen to prevent skin cancer. CDC’s Sun Safety recommendations note the importance of daily sunscreen use to help prevent most skin cancers, even on cloudy and overcast days.

“As sunscreen manufactures, our goal is to provide our consumers with access to a wide variety of safe, effective and innovative sunscreens so they can make informed decisions. Sunscreen is an important part of an overall safe sun program.  It is our hope that using sunscreen becomes as much of a habit as putting on your seatbelt.” 

[1] “Benzophenone Accumulates over Time from the Degradation of Octocrylene in Commercial Sunscreen Products” Chemical Research in Toxicology:


For more information on cosmetics and personal care products, please visit

Founded in 1894, the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) is the voice and advocate for 600 member companies representing the $450 billion global cosmetics and personal care products industry. PCPC’s members represent approximately 90% of the U.S. beauty industry and are some of the most beloved and trusted brands in beauty and personal care today. As manufacturers, distributers and suppliers of a diverse range of products millions of consumers rely on every day – from sunscreens, toothpaste and shampoo to moisturizer, makeup and fragrance – PCPC’s member companies are global leaders committed to safety, quality and innovation. 

Statement by the Personal Care Products Council on the Introduction of the Safer Beauty Bills Package



Lisa Powers,, (202) 297-1232 

Stefanie Harrington,, (202) 615-6558 


Statement by the Personal Care Products Council on the Introduction of the Safer Beauty Bills Package 


Washington, D.C. “The Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) and our member companies are united in our longstanding commitment to work with all stakeholders to modernize federal regulatory oversight of cosmetics and personal care products. We appreciate Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), and Doris Matsui (D-CA) for their leadership in introducing  four bills that highlight the importance of modernizing the U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration’s (FDA) regulatory framework for cosmetics and personal care products.   

“We look forward to working with members of Congress to enact bipartisan, comprehensive cosmetics regulatory reform. As part of our ongoing commitment toward this goal, PCPC and our member companies created a set of principles to guide legislative action, many of which mirror consumer protections applied to other products regulated by the FDA. Our member companies support a national standard that maintains the continued safety of our products while providing the FDA with additional regulatory authority over our industry.  

“While we firmly believe in the safety of our products, we also believe that well-crafted, science-based reforms will enhance our industry’s ability to innovate and further strengthen consumer confidence in the products they trust and use every day. The current patchwork regulatory approach with varying state bills does not achieve this goal.   

“We look forward to working with Reps. Schakowsky, Blunt Rochester, Fletcher, and Matsui, and the leadership of the Energy and Commerce Committee and key stakeholders to create a modern regulatory system for the personal care sector. 


For more information on cosmetics and personal care products and their ingredients, please visit 

Founded in 1894, the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC)is the voice and advocate for 600 member companiesrepresenting the $450 billion global cosmetics and personal care products industry. PCPC’s members represent approximately 90% of the U.S. beauty industry and are some of the most beloved and trusted brands in beauty and personal care today. As manufacturers, distributers and suppliers of a diverse range of products millions of consumers rely on every day – from sunscreens, toothpaste and shampoo to moisturizer, makeup and fragrance – PCPC’s member companies are global leaders committed to safety, quality and innovation.