The Government has confirmed it will ban the manufacture of cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads from 2018, following a public consultation period over the beads.
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ summary of responses confirmed that, after a period to refine the proposals, the UK will ban the manufacture of products containing the plastic beads from January 1, 2018, and the sale of such products from June 30, 2018.
The new law will apply to rinse-off products, such as face wash and exfoliators, but is not yet extended to microplastics in leave-on cosmetics such as make-up. Environmental secretary Michael Gove said: “We will introduce legislation to implement that ban later this year.”
Trading Standards has been named as the regulator to manage compliance and enforcement of the ban, which will be carried out through a range of sanctions including financial penalties, stop notices, compliance notices and enforcement action.
Microbeads are solid plastic particles less than five millimetres in size and are harmful to marine life when ingested, which can also result in toxins further up the food chain.