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Without Microplastics

The Lidl “recipe without microplastics” seal

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Transparency for customers: Lidl introduces the seal "recipe without microplastics"

Plastic is present in our everyday life. It gets into our environment in various ways and primarily pollutes our waters and oceans. Even the smallest plastic particles from cosmetic and care products contribute to the environmental impact as one of the numerous emitters. Lidl has therefore set the goal of removing these smallest plastic particles, also known as microplastics, from its formulations. In Lidl Cyprus the majority of the cosmetics range is to become microplastic-free by the end of 2021.

In order for Lidl customers to quickly identify which products are microplastic-free according to the ingredients, Lidl is introducing the "recipe without microplastics" seal for products in the cosmetics and body care sector. Many products in this area are already free of microplastics, and the seal thus significantly increases transparency for customers.

Lidl has already been working intensively on the issue of microplastics since 2015 as part of its sustainability commitment and believes in the importance of its reduction. In line with this precautionary principle and together with its suppliers of cosmetic and personal care products, Lidl has agreed not to use solid, primary type A microplastics in the formulation of Lidl's own-brand products. Solid plastic particles with an abrasion effect that are smaller than five millimeters as well as other non-biodegradable synthetic polymers which are solid, dispersed, gel-like, dissolved or liquid are not used. In addition to reducing primary microplastics, Lidl is also researching substitutes with the same properties for cosmetic and personal care products. 

With this development, Lidl not only meets customer requirements but also helps to protect the environment from plastic pollution.

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Our definition of microplastics

Since there is currently no uniform definition of microplastics, the Schwarz Group, to which Lidl and Kaufland belong, has set up its own definition: Lidl understands microplastic particles to be solid, visually recognizable plastic particles that are smaller than five millimeters with an abrasion effect and are not water-soluble. In the future, Lidl suppliers will be required to comply with the requirements on microplastics.

The following types of plastics are currently taken into account:

Polyamide (PA); Polyethylenes (PE); Polyethylene terephthalate (PET); Polyester (PES); Polyimides (PI); Polypropylene (PP); Polyurethanes (PUR) 

Other non-biodegradable synthetic polymers which are solid, dispersed, gel-like, dissolved or liquid are also included in the production of Lidl's own-brand products. More detailed information on these plastics can be found in the microplastics position statement.

All Lidl products are manufactured to the highest standards in terms of product safety.

The two types of microplastics

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Primary microplastics

Primary microplastics are particles that are smaller than five millimeters.
There are two types:
Type A: Deliberate addition of plastic particles in the production of cosmetic and care products such as toothpastes, shower gels or peels to achieve certain product properties
Type B: Microplastics of this kind arise in the use of plastic products phase, such as when tires are worn or when washing through the release of synthetic fibers.

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Secondary microplastics

Secondary microplastics arise from the decay of larger plastic components in nature. Plastic weathers due to the influence of solar radiation, rain, wind and wave movements and disintegrates into smaller and smaller particles.

More about microplastics

Why are plastics used in cosmetic and personal care products?
Microplastics in cosmetics and care products have a variety of functions. In shampoo, for example, it makes it easier to comb. Microplastics also facilitate the absorption of creams and lotions and improves water resistance in sun protection products. Microplastics also act as opacifiers to provide a creamier appearance in soaps.

How can you avoid microplastics?
Instead of microplastics, Lidl is focusing on more environmentally-friendly alternatives: For example, solid microplastics based on polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) have been replaced by pumice stone particles (Perlite) in shower scrubs or by bamboo particles (Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder) in washing scrubs.

In order for liquid microplastics to be replaced in the future, alternative substances will be tested and evaluated in close cooperation with suppliers for factors such as product safety, environmental compatibility, effectiveness and technological applicability.

The challenges of microplastics in the environment 
Microplastics, which are not biodegradable, can be taken up by living organisms in oceans and thus also find their way into the human food chain. The extent to which these plastic particles pose a danger to humans and animals is currently being researched in various scientific studies.

It is undisputed that plastic does not belong in the environment, which is why Lidl is committed to reducing plastic emissions as part of the REset Plastic strategy.

Classification in our plastic Reset Plastic strategy

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The issue of microplastics is part of our REset Plastic strategy. 
With the integrated REset Plastic strategy, the Schwarz Group has set the goal of reducing the use of plastic and making plastic use recyclable in order to close the loops in the long term. In doing so, the group accepts its responsibility to act in an environmentally-conscious manner.

In this context, the trading division Lidl is working with its suppliers in the REset Plastic action field REdesign to optimize products and product packaging. An example of this is the consistent reduction of microplastics in own-brand label products in the cosmetics and personal care sector.
The goal: More environmentally-friendly alternatives instead of microplastics.

The holistic, international REset Plastic strategy is divided into the following five fields of action:
Avoidance - REduce
Design - REdesign
Recycling - REcycle
Elimination - REmove
Innovation and education - REsearch

More information can be found at www.reset-plastic.com