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Proposed Regulations for Microbeads in Personal Care Products Used to Exfoliate or Cleanse

6 Next Steps

6.1 Information Gathering

The Government of Canada instituted the policy that a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) must be carried out for all significant regulatory proposals to assess their potential impacts on the environment, workers, businesses, consumers and other sectors of society. The objective of the CBA is to assess the incremental impacts that are expected to occur as a result of a regulatory proposal. These impacts of the proposed regulation will then be assessed in accordance with the Treasury Board Secretariat Canadian Cost-Benefit Analysis Guide.

In order to fill data gaps and obtain the necessary information to conduct a cost-benefit analysis for the proposed regulations, a section 71 survey under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act 1999 (CEPA 1999) has been issued to assess the current situation, including the quantity of microbeads in commerce in personal care products that may be released to water, identification of product types, and the number and size of companies impacted by the proposed regulations.

In addition to the data requested by the section 71 survey, we are also looking for information on a number of other data gaps, including:

  • How microbeads are used in the personal care products covered by the regulatory proposal. For each functional use, not related to exfoliating or cleansing, please provide:
    • a description of the function of the microbeads
    • size range, composition and concentration of the microbeads in the finished product
  • Alternatives and potential environmental impacts
  • The typical size (mass or volume) of a product that contains microbeads
  • The cost of microbeads per unit (kg)
  • The price of a product, per unit (kg) that currently contains microbeads
  • Percentage increase in raw material costs of using an alternative to achieve comparable effectiveness in products; or if available, the incremental cost of using an alternative to achieve comparable effectiveness per unit (kg)
  • Reformulation costs involved in reformulating products that contain microbeads to using the alternative
  • The impact on quality of the products for consumers
  • An overview of the importance of the substance or products containing the substance for the Canadian economy (including key economic indicators and statistics)

This information will be used to support the development of the regulatory proposal and to assess the incremental impacts of the proposed regulation. Please provide the above-listed information to the Environment and Climate Change Canada contact listed at the end of this document. Indicate “Consultation on Proposed Regulations for Microbeads” as your subject line.

6.2 Consultation

A proposed Order to add microbeads to the List of Toxic Substances under CEPA 1999 was published on August 1, 2015. The Government of Canada also published a Notice of Intent to develop regulations under CEPA 1999 that would prohibit the manufacture, import, sale and offer for sale of microbead-containing personal care products used to exfoliate or cleanse. The publication of the Notice of Intent to regulate was followed by a 30-day public comment period.

Comments on the proposed order and notice of intent were received on behalf of 25 industry associations and 10 other stakeholders as well as over 200 individuals on a variety of topics including the definition of microbeads, harmonization with the U.S., biodegradation, scope of the proposed regulations and alternatives. These comments will be taken into consideration during the development of the proposed regulations.

Comments received on the consultation document will also be taken into consideration during the development of the proposed regulations.

6.3 Regulatory Reform

As part of its Red Tape Reduction Action Plan, the Government of Canada has introduced the One-for-One Rule and the Small Business Lens. In moving forward with the proposed regulations, Environment and Climate Change Canada will apply these two reforms to ensure that the administrative burden on business is reduced where possible and that small businesses are taken into account with respect to any administrative and compliance challenges.

6.3.1 One-for-One Rule

The One-for-One Rule is aimed at reducing the administrative burden on business and at limiting the growth in the number of federal regulations. The One-for-One Rule requires the calculation of administrative burden on business in new regulations and in regulatory amendments. Any increases in administrative burden must be offset (equivalent reduction in administrative burden) from the existing stock of regulations. Also, for every new regulation introduced that imposes administrative burden on business, an existing regulation must be repealed.

Administrative burden is defined as anything that is necessary to demonstrate compliance with a regulation, including the collecting, processing, reporting and retaining of information, and completing of forms. The proposed regulations are not anticipated to trigger the One-for-One Rule as there is no expected administrative burden.

6.3.2 Small Business Lens

The purpose of the small business lens is to ensure that the specific needs of small business are considered and that the least burdensome but most effective approach to addressing these needs is identified. A small business is defined as any business, including its affiliates, that has fewer than 100 employees or has between $30,000 and $5 million in annual gross revenues.

6.4 Comment Period

Environment and Climate Change Canada welcomes the distribution of this consultation document to any interested and affected stakeholders.

The consultation will be followed by a 30-day comment period. Comments received during this period will be taken into consideration while drafting the proposed Regulations. Please submit comments in writing no later than March 10, 2016.

Interested stakeholders will be invited to participate in consultation sessions in winter 2015-2016.

Pursuant to section 313 of CEPA 1999, any person who provides information to the Minister of the Environment under CEPA 1999 may submit with the information a written request that it be treated as confidential. Please address comments to the Products Division with the subject “Consultation on Proposed Regulations for Microbeads”. Comments can be submitted by mail, email or fax:

By mail:

Products Division
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Place Vincent Massey, 9th Floor
351 St. Joseph Boulevard
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3

By email:

ec.produits-products.ec@canada.ca

By fax:

819-938-4480

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