Microbeads (small particles of plastic) are a common ingredient in many cosmetics and personal care products such as face scrubs and toothpastes. They are also found in other products such as washing powders and household cleaners.
Microbeads are washed down the drain but are too small to be completely filtered out in sewage treatment systems so a proportion is washed out into the marine environment.
Government action will create a level playing field for industry, tackle inconsistency, provide consumer confidence and stop new products containing tiny pieces of plastic ending up in the marine environment.
The ban will contribute to our vision of “clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas” as set out in the UK Marine Policy Statement.