We applaud the UK government’s decision to ban the manufacturing of products containing microbeads, a move that is being viewed as one of the world’s toughest bans on the harmful pieces of plastic.
Microbeads are the tiny plastic particles often found in cosmetics such as facial scrubs, toothpastes and even the glitter that shimmers in shower gels or moisturisers. While minute, microbeads pose an environmental risk, and can cause serious harm to marine life.
Image courtesy: inhabitat.com
Being so tiny, they manage to wash down drains, slip through water filtration systems and pollute the ocean and cause serious harm to marine life. This ban will now stop billions of pieces of the plastic ending up in the ocean every year and in fish that ends up on our plates.
As a result of the ban, cosmetics brands can no longer make products that contain microbeads, and they will be officially banned from sale later in 2018.
This announcement comes just days after UK MP’s call for the introduction of a “latter levy”: a 25p tax on every disposable coffee cup bought by consumers. A cost felt by the consumer rather than by manufacturers. Therefore there is still much more to be done to apply pressure to brands to act more responsibly.
That being said, with the environment fast becoming the pressing political issue of our generation, there is great hope that a heightened level of awareness and united effort will take us beyond these moves to tackle other forms of plastic waste.