In this Manufacturer Roundtable, Facility Cleaning Decisions took the compilation of questions we received from readers and asked soap/sanitizer manufacturers to weigh in.

There is talk of banning plastic microbeads. How will this affect facilities soap stock/offerings?
Companies will have to stop using plastic microbeads and use more ecologically-friendly and biodegradable eco-beads, or natural ingredients in their products.
— Ronald Lewis, Associate Brand Manager, Diversified Markets, Henkel Consumer Goods, Inc., Scottsdale, Arizona



Yes, microbeads contained in hand cleansers are washed down the drain after use, entering the sewer system before making their way into rivers and other water streams. From there, they can easily end up in seas and oceans, contributing to the issue known as the “plastic soup.”
Plastic microbeads found in numerous cosmetic products are polluting the Great Lakes. Recent research published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin, a peer-reviewed journal, found high concentrations of plastics in U.S. lakes, particularly Lake Erie. Microbeads accounted for 90 percent of these plastics. Microbeads are designed to be small enough to wash down the drain, but they are not caught by sewage treatment, instead flowing into waterways.
Illinois became the first U.S. state to enact legislation banning the manufacture and sale of products containing microbeads; the two-part ban goes into effect in 2018 and 2019. The New York State Assembly voted in May 2014 to ban microbeads, and additional legislation was under consideration in Ohio and California. The Personal Care Products Council, a trade group for the cosmetic industry, has come out in support of the Illinois bill, which prohibits the sale of personal care products with microbeads by 2019.
There are plenty of effective alternatives to plastic microbeads. For example, most of Deb heavy-duty hand cleansers contain natural biodegradable scrubbers like cornmeal, olive stone or walnut shells.
— Isabelle Faivre, Vice President of Marketing, North America, Deb Group, Charlotte, North Carolina

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Triclosan’s Impact On Antibacterial Soaps
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Tips For Improving Handwashing