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Microbeads ban comes into force

A ban on the sale of products containing microbeads has come into force as part of the Government’s efforts to prevent these harmful pieces of plastic entering the marine environment.

From today, retailers across England and Scotland will no longer be able to sell rinse-off cosmetics and personal care products that contain microbeads – the tiny pieces of plastic often added to products such as face scrubs, soaps, toothpaste and shower gels.

Just one shower alone is thought to send 100,000 microbeads down the drain and into the ocean, causing serious harm to marine life. The announcement follows January’s ban on the manufacture of products containing microbeads.

The ban forms part of the 25 Year Environment Plan commitment to eliminate avoidable plastic waste and sits alongside the Treasury’s call for evidence on how changes to the tax system could be used to reduce single use plastics.

With the microbeads ban now in place, the Government is exploring how other microplastic sources enter our marine environment. Last month £200,000 was pledged by the Government for scientists at the University of Plymouth to explore how tiny plastic particles from tyres, synthetic materials like polyester, and fishing gear – such as nets, ropes and lines – enter our waterways and oceans.

Posted 19/06/2018 08:22

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