The ban on manufacturing microbeads will enter into force on the 1st of July 2017. OTC medicines and cosmetics containing microbeads can no longer be manufactured starting July 1, 2018, with OTC drugs whose composition include the plastic microspheres, and had already been available on the market, still being allowed for sale until the 1st of July 2019.
Most commonly made of polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene, microbeads are widely used in cosmetics and personal care products as exfoliating agents. While very efficient in skin exfoliation, the main concern in regards to them has arisen from their impact on water.
Companies will therefore need to start focusing on finding less harmful alternatives to use in developing their products, as good for the skin, but better for the environment.