Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Consultation on proposals to ban the manufacture and sale of cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads

Consultation on proposals to ban the manufacture and sale of cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads (small particles of plastic) which may cause harm to the marine environment

The consultation is being carried out by Defra’s Marine Division on behalf of the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations. The proposals would extend and apply to the UK including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

What is the purpose of the consultation?

The purpose of the consultation is to seek views on the Governments proposals for a UK-wide ban on the sale and manufacture of cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads which may harm the marine environment. The ban would apply to solid microplastic ingredients 5mm in size in every dimension that are used as an ingredient in rinse-off cosmetics and personal care products including but not limited to exfoliating scrubs, shower gels and toothpastes. The consultation also seeks to gather evidence on the extent of the environmental impacts of microbeads found in other products, to inform future UK actions to protect the marine environment.

Who will the proposals be of greatest interest to?

This consultation should be of particular interest to users of the products, businesses involved in the sale and manufacture of cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads, their trade associations/bodies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) concerned about the status of the marine environment.

What are the Governments aims?

The Government aims to create a level playing field for industry, tackle inconsistency, support consumer confidence and stop new products containing tiny pieces of plastic ending up in the marine environment.

Further Information

Consultation on Proposals to ban the use of plastic microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products in the UK and call for evidence on other sources of microplastics entering the marine environment. https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/consultations/proposals-ban-use-plastic-microbeads-cosmetics-and-personal-care-products-uk-and-call-evidence-other


If you wish to respond to the consultation your response should be received no later than 28th February 2017 either in writing to

The Marine and Litter Policy Team, Area 8B Millbank, c/o Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London, SW 1P 3JR; or

By email to marinelitter@defra.gsi.gov.uk; or

Or online via http://consult.defra.gov.uk/marine/microbead-ban-proposals.

Whats new on NetRegs

  • December NetRegs Updates

    Did you miss December's NetRegs Update? You can view them here <Scotland Update> <Northern Ireland Update> or visit the updates archive pages on this website.

  • LIFE SMART Waste project news

    The latest LIFE SMART Waste e-newsletter has been published to highlight the project’s progress towards demonstrating innovative ways of understanding, tackling and reducing waste-related crime in Europe. <Read more>

  • SEPA unveils new waste to resources framework

    A new framework for tackling waste has been unveiled by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), focussing on how SEPA will support a circular economy in Scotland.
    One Planet Prosperity – A Waste to Resources Framework

  • Waste – Duty of Care Roles and Responsibilities

    The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.


  • Please let us know your thoughts on our new website

    What do you think about our new and improved website. We want your feedback on what you like, what you don’t like and ways we can continue to improve the website. Follow the link to complete the very short survey: NetRegs website – User feedback

  • NEW guidance on Environmental Management Systems

    We have recently updated and improved our guidance on Environmental Management Systems (EMS). You can find the guidance via the Environmental Topics tab or alternatively select the following link Environmental Management Systems (EMS).

  • Consultation on proposed changes to the packaging recycling business targets

    See NI Future legislation or Scotland Future legislation for details of the Consultation

  • NetRegs SMEnvironment survey 2016

    NetRegs has carried out a survey of environmental awareness among SMEs. There are separate reports for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

  • NIEA Guidance - Greenfield Excavated Matrials in Construction

    NIEA and the CEF have developed a Regulatory Position to promote Sustainable re-use of natural excavated material from Greenfield sites.

    NIEA: Guidance on the Regulation of Greenfield Excavated Materials in Construction and Development

  • New GPP 2 Above Ground Oil Storage

    The replacements for the PPGs are being developed. Now available GPP 2 Above Ground Oil Storage

  • SEPA Consultation on an Intergated Authorisation Framework

    SEPA is asking for your views on the proposals for integrated authorisations.

    Consultation documents

  • GPP 24 Stables, Kennels and Catteries

    NEW GPP 24 now available: Stables, Kennels and Catteries

NetRegs on NetRegs on youTube

View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.

NetRegs Update Newsletter

Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland

Sign up for free today!


NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms