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.

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