From the 9 January 2018 cosmetic and personal care manufacturers will no longer be able to include mircobeads in products destined for sale in the United Kingdom.
Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic that are introduced into products such as face scrubs, toothpastes and shower gels to assist in rinsing off the product but the microbeads can cause damage to the marine environment and this latest step by the government is part of a continuing effort to crack own on plastics pollution.
Thérèse Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal Constituency and Environment Minister said;
The world’s seas and oceans are some of our most valuable natural assets and I am determined we act now to tackle the plastic that devastates our precious marine life.
Microbeads are entirely unnecessary when there are so many natural alternatives available, and I am delighted that from today cosmetics manufacturers will no longer be able to add this harmful plastic to their rinse-off products.
Now we have reached this important milestone, we will explore how we can build on our world-leading ban and tackle other forms of plastic waste.
The ban on the manufacture of the products will be followed up later in the year by a ban on the sale of the products in the United Kingdom.
Senior Pollution Officer at the Marine Conservation Society, Dr Sue Kinsey said;
We are delighted that such a robust microbead ban has come into force. This is the strongest and most comprehensive ban to be enacted in the world and will help to stem the flow of micro plastics into our oceans.
We believe that this signals a real commitment on the part of this Government to clean up our seas and beaches and hope this is a first step on this road before we see further actions to combat plastic waste.