Microbead ban confirmed in UK to help clean up oceans

July 25, 2017
Legislation will be introduced later this year to ban the sale and manufacture of microbeads in England...

LONDON, UK – Legislation will be introduced later this year to ban the sale and manufacture of microbeads in England.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove confirmed the legislation during a speech entitled ‘Delivering a Green Brexit’ in which he said around eight million tonnes of plastic makes its way into oceans each year.

A consultation on the “Banning of microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products” was published at the end of last year but has now closed after receiving 431 responses.

Microbeads appear in cosmetics and personal care products, such as toothpastes and shower gels but can pose a threat to the marine environment.

The department for environment, food & rural affairs said that plastic is ingested by 31 species of marine mammals and over 100 species of sea birds.

Gove said: “There is more we can do to protect our oceans, so we will explore new methods of reducing the amount of plastic - in particular plastic bottles - entering our seas, improve incentives for reducing waste and litter, and review the penalties available to deal with polluters - all part of a renewed strategy on waste and resources that looks ahead to opportunities outside the EU.”

Figures published at the speech showed that since the government introduced a 5p carrier bag charge, nine billion fewer plastic bags were used – an 83 percent reduction.


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