Tuesday 9 January: Microbeads

Microbeads ban takes effect

Image of a finger with microbeads

This morning there was widespread coverage in The Daily Mail, The Guardian, and The Independent following Minister Coffey’s announcement that the ban on manufacture of products containing microbeads has now come into effect.

The ban, one of the toughest in the world, will ban ‘microbeads’ – tiny pieces of plastic – from rinse-off products such as face scrubs, toothpastes and shower gels. A ban on the sale of products containing microbeads will follow in July.

The announcement was warmly welcomed by stakeholders such as Fauna & Flora International and the Marine Conservation Society, both members of the microbeads coalition. Mary Creagh, chair of the parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee, said it was a step in the right direction.

It comes ahead of the 25 Year Environment Plan, which sets out how we will be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it.

Minister Coffey appeared on Sky News to speak about the ban and said:

“We know that any plastic in the marine environment is not good. [Microbeads] can be ingested directly into fish, and while we are still looking for extra evidence on the impact on human health. The point is they don't need to be there, and that's why we've taken the steps to have this ban.”

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