PVP Response

In response to the Greenpeace article: ”Plastic in make-up”

16th February 2021

You can read the original report ”Plastic in make-up” published by Greenpeace Italy.

First of all, we would like to clarify that this research is specifically about the make up of Lush (including foundations, concealers and eyeliners). The make up category is 2% of all Lush product types, and of this specific product category, 87.5% (and not 99%) contains the ingredient PVP.

In its report, Greenpeace underlines the following:

“Of the 11 brands analysed, the presence of plastic ingredients was also found in natural products, with Lush finding the highest percentage (in 99% of its products). This is only due to the presence of the ingredient polyvinylpyrrolidone or PVP, a plastic material in liquid form, one of the most used by brands.”

Lush is aware of the use of this ingredient and its properties, and communicates this on its website , expressing a desire to replace it with alternative substances if available.

The report states: “Looking at the information shared by the brands, Lush appears to be the most transparent about the ingredients of each product. However, after researching the Lush website in late 2020, Greenpeace could not find any concrete commitments regarding the use and / or elimination of microplastics and other plastic ingredients.”

The laboratory analysis, which was performed on 14 make up products, showed Lush, along with Purobio, to be the only one of all examined brands that did not contain solid microplastics.

With regard to PVP, as mentioned in this article, we would like to emphasise that:

 Any material that may be traced back to the term ‘plastic’ is, very correctly, under scrutiny.

When people say ‘plastic’ they mostly mean lunchbox, rigid plastics. And when people say microplastics they mean small particles of rigid plastic that do not biodegrade and can move through water systems and out into oceans.These two polymer ingredients are not solid plastics but are dissolved and used in solution within the product. PVP is water-soluble while Styrene/acrylate/ammonium methacrylate copolymer is oil-soluble.

As they are in liquid form they are not thought of in the same way as microplastics and their impact in marine or freshwater environments has not been sufficiently researched yet. The lack of data and conflicting studies around their biodegradability is of great concern to us and we remain on the lookout for any new information on this or alternative, natural compounds.

Since our inception, we’ve worked hard at Lush to create real change, challenging the status quo and the cosmetics industry for years. We are always verifying our ingredients and looking for alternatives that have not been tested on animals and are safe for humans and the environment. This is a difficult path that is constantly evolving, this difficulty Greenpeace also acknowledges in its report: “Since cosmetics have complex compositions, it is possible that a plastic ingredient can be replaced by other substances, but the best replacement will take some time. However, this research shows that there are already cosmetic and make up companies that do not use plastic ingredients, including Puribio.”

We reiterate that at Lush, we are committed to offering top quality products made from the best ingredients with respect for animals, the environment and communities.

We like to refer to our make-up range as proof of our dedication in the search for suitable alternatives. In November 2020, we launched a new range of packaging-free lipsticks, completely free of plastic (packaging) materials. We were one of the first to use plastic-free glitter, and we’ve never used microplastics before; we have always preferred to use natural exfoliants such as ground almonds, rice and salt. Transparency is one of our most important values ​​and all information about our products, ingredients and where they come from can always be found on our labels and in the extensive information on our websites.

We strongly emphasise our ongoing effort to contribute (together with and with the help of our customers) to reduce the use of plastic in the cosmetics sector. This is also reflected in our plan to have 100% packaging-free cosmetics in solid form – today this is 65% of our total products. And it is also evident in our efforts to continue to promote a good cycle of continuous recycling with our black pots.

Audio player image