In autumn 2016 VTCT News published Caroline King’s article “The Big Microbead Debate” in order to raise awareness of the dangers that these tiny beads of plastics, used in everyday cosmetics, are causing to our environment. This month, Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced plans to ban microbeads in the UK.
Mr Gove pledged action to reduce plastic waste choking our oceans and marine life as he set out his ambition for the UK to lead the world in environmental protection.
Around eight million tonnes of plastic each year makes its way into oceans, posing a serious threat to our natural and marine environment – experts estimate plastic is ingested by 31 species of marine mammals and over 100 species of sea birds.
As new figures revealed show, more than nine billion fewer plastic bags were used since the government introduced a 5p charge, an 83% reduction, the Environment Secretary set out further plans to prevent other sources of plastic finding their way into our oceans and seas during a speech entitled ‘Delivering a Green Brexit’.
Mr Gove confirmed legislation will be introduced this year to ban the sale and manufacture of microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products such as toothpastes and shower gels.
Speaking at WWF UK in July, Gove said: “Last year the government launched a consultation on banning microbeads in personal care products, which have such a devastating effect on marine life. We are responding to that consultation today and we will introduce legislation to implement that ban later this year.”
This move will undoubtedly have a huge effect on the beauty and cosmetics industry, and that of those working in it while stocks are cleansed and replenished.