Banning microbeads

Yesterday the Environment Secretary Michael Gove confirmed that legislation would be introduced this year to ban the sale and manufacture of microbeads in products ranging from toothpastes to shower gels.

Several constituents have contacted me regarding the tiny plastic pieces known as “microbeads” and I have in the past written to Ministers asking them to look urgently into this matter. I am extremely glad they will be banned from cosmetics and toiletries, as part of efforts to stop plastic waste entering the oceans.

Last year the Government launched a consultation on banning microbeads in personal care products, which have such a devastating effect on marine life. The Government are responding to that consultation and will introduce legislation to implement that ban later this year.

This is a positive move for our environment and a clear sign of the UK’s global leadership on tackling ocean plastics.

It is also heartening to hear that Greenpeace UK oceans campaigner Louise Casson has reflected that this ban will represent the strongest action on microbeads in the world.

Michael Gove with Michelle Donelan