Ban on plastic microbeads comes into force in the UK

A manufacturing ban on plastic microbeads means the tiny beads, which are harmful to marine life, can no longer be used in cosmetics and personal care products

The legislation, which was announced last year and came into effect today (9 January), prevents cosmetics and personal care manufacturers from using tiny plastic particles in ‘rinse-off’ products. Microbeads, which are often part of exfoliating face washes, toothpastes and shower gels, have been shown to damage marine life.

It is the strongest and most comprehensive ban to be enacted in the world

Sue Kinsey, senior pollution officer at the Marine Conservation Society, described it as the “strongest and most comprehensive ban to be enacted in the world”.

The legislation initially bars the manufacture of such products and a ban on sales will follow in July.

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