To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of banning micro beads.
26 April 2016
Microbeads from personal care products are believed to make up a very small percentage of the total amount of microplastics entering the marine environment, with estimates ranging from 0.01% to 4.1%. A ban in the UK would therefore be expected to have only a small impact on the effects on the environment attributed to microplastics. However, microbeads, like other microplastics, do not biodegrade and so accumulate in the marine environment. There are also less harmful alternatives that are suitable to use.
Defra supports voluntary action by industry to phase out microbeads from personal care products, and is supporting other EU Member States in calling for the European Commission to come up with proposals to ban their use in cosmetics and detergents.