Good news in New Zealand where Johnson & Johnson announced that it is phasing out PVC due to the harmful effects it has on the environment. The company said they will replace the plastic handles on cotton buds “to prevent toxic waste reaching waterways and seas.” An article on the news noted that, “Plastic cotton buds are the number one item of plastic, sewage-related debris found on beaches and rivers.”
New Zealand’s Ministry for the Environment applauded the decision. In a statement, the Ministry said:
“Recently the government announced consultation to regulate the manufacture and sale of plastic microbeads in personal care products in New Zealand because of the harm they cause when released into aquatic environments. Johnson & Johnson’s decision to remove PVC from its products is a great example of industry actively responding to a global issue without the need for regulation and we are very supportive of this.”
Elsewhere in the world, the European Union identified four chemicals known as phthalates as “endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) for human health.” The announcement noted that “phthalates are used as plasticisers in various products – from vinyl flooring to footballs and from wiring to shower curtains. Some of these products are made from recycled PVC, in which DEHP, one of the endocrine disruptors, has been authorised for use.” Denmark has been “calling for proper regulation of these “phthalates since 2011” and wants the chemicals banned in consumer products, including imports.