Spotlight on ethics: Microplastics in cosmetics

You’re an engineering student on an industrial placement year at a company that manufactures cosmetics. The company is involved in a big project that focuses on alternative, more environmentally friendly cosmetic chemistries. You notice that a batch of products might have been contaminated with microplastics. You flag this up to your supervisor but they wave your concerns away. What do you do?

This is the dilemma presented in our Engineering Ethics Toolkit case study Microplastics in cosmetics.

We’ve provided this, and other case studies, for you to use and adapt in your teaching. If you’re new to ethics, we have a growing library of guidance articles available to support you, and an Ethics Explorer to get you started. Please take a look and give us your feedback.

If you would like to give feedback on this or any other Engineering Ethics resource, or submit your own content, you can do so here. We also have a newly created community of practice that you can join, where we hope that educators will support each other, and share their success stories of teaching engineering ethics. You can join our Ethics Ambassadors community here.

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