Holland and Barrett becomes the first retailer to ban microplastics

I have been watching the evolution of natural beauty on the high street for some time and it has become more obvious to me that stores are either wholeheartedly embracing the changes in the consumer tide or lagging behind. Holland and Barrett in my opinion is definitely embracing the changes, whilst the store has always offered a selection of natural beauty products on it’s shelves, it’s new flagship store in Manchester now boasts the largest natural beauty department in Europe, which is extremely exciting.

As well as the in-store offering, featuring some great brands like Beauty Kitchen and Dr Organic, Holland and Barrett are taking things a step further with the embrace of cleaner beauty and is banning all products containing, parabens, SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) and micro-plastics. Whist it is the parabens and Sodium lauryl Sulphate that often gets the most publicity, for me the one that is very much worth celebrating here is micro-plastics.

Micro-plastics have been proven to be problematic for the environment, making their way in to waterways and our food supply via fish and other marine animals. Whilst it is true that micro beads found in cosmetics make up only a proportion of the overall plastic pollution, there is absolutely no benefits to their use when we have safe, effective and bio-degradable alternatives. The only reason the industry has been so slow to act on this matter is cost, the cost of reformulating and making a profit has been put above the cost of micro-plastic pollution to the planet.

So whilst Holland and Barrett’s precautionary stance on SLS and parabens is welcome, it is the micro plastic ban that I am personally most impressed with and I hope other retailers will follow in their footsteps. Micro-plastics can be found in a whole host of personal care products including, scrubs, toothpastes, make up and sunscreen.

To check whether any of your favourites contain micro-plastics, check for the following on an ingredients list; Polyethylene, nylon, polypropylene, Polyethylene terephthalate and Polymethyl methacrylate. Also look for out for bath bombs and other products containing glitter, which is most often made of plastic particles, some brands claim to use bio-degradable glitter but personally I am still cautious over its use.

Big thumbs up to Holland and Barrett for this move. If you would like to shop their micro-bead free beauty selection you can do so in store or on their website. Check out their #cleanbeauty campaign for more details.

Post contains PR samples please see my full disclaimer for details.
Ana Green

Written by Ana – A beauty industry professional who is passionate about product and helping people navigate the marketing hype in the beauty industry.