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UK's microbeads ban takes effect

Staff Writer |
The UK government's ban on microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products comes takes effect.

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Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey has announced that manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care products will no longer be able to add tiny pieces of plastic known as microbeads to rinse-off products such as face scrubs, toothpastes and shower gels.

These damaging beads can cause serious harm to marine life, but the UK’s ban – praised by campaigners as one of the toughest in the world – will help to stop billions of microbeads ending up in the ocean every year.

Alongside the success of the government’s 5p plastic bag charge – which has taken nine billion bags out of circulation – the ban puts the UK at the forefront of international efforts to crack down on plastic pollution.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey 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."

A ban on the sale of products containing microbeads will follow later in the year.


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