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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

UK Government Urged to Ban Microbeads

Kenneth Gibson MSP has welcomed a report of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee urging the UK Government to ban cosmetic companies from using plastic microbeads in bathroom products.

Mr Gibson has long since argued for a UK-wide ban on the use of microbeads, and earlier this year submitted two Parliamentary motions drawing attention to their adverse impact on marine life and the environment.

The cross-party committee published a report yesterday in which it recommends that a legislative ban is put in place “by the end of 2017”.

Plastic microbeads that are used in facial exfoliating scrubs, toothpastes and shaving gels, get washed down the drain every day and inevitably end up in our oceans. It is estimated that as much as 86 tonnes of microbeads end up in the marine environment from the UK every year. They are likely to be consumed by wildlife and are capable of transferring chemicals to and from the marine environment.

Kenneth Gibson said:

“After having raised the issue twice before, I am encouraged that the UK Government is now being urged to put legislation in place to ban these damaging plastic microbeads.

“If extensive damage to our marine environment is not considered enough of a reason for the Tory Government to put legislation in place, perhaps the Chair’s comment that a plate of 6 oysters can contain up to 50 microbeads is.

“Launching its Marine Litter Strategy in 2014 and through the introduction of Marine Protected Areas including South Arran, the SNP Government has shown a clear commitment to the protection of our marine environment and species. It is time that the UK Government does likewise and bans cosmetic microbeads once and for all.”

An interactive report summary with link to the full report can be found here.



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