Plastic pollution of our seas is of concern to us all and it is an increasing problem. For that reason, some companies started to move away from plastic microbeads in cosmetic products and in October last year the cosmetics industry across Europe took the collective responsible decision to remove plastic microbeads from products where they may reach the marine environment. The UK cosmetics industry alone has already achieved a 70% reduction in their use and use will be virtually zero by the end of 2018.
The proposal by the UK Government to ban the use of plastic microbeads in cosmetic products that are likely to reach the marine environment will now ensure that all products entering the UK market are in compliance.
Unfortunately, the fact is that even this action will not have a significant impact on the enormous problem of plastic litter in the seas since the quantities from other, non-cosmetic, sources dwarf the amount of microbeads we once used. We look to Government to address plastics pollution on a wider basis to understand the scale of the problem and work towards a sustainable solution.