Jo Churchill MP has expressed her “delight” with the announcement on Friday 2nd September by the Government to introduce a nationwide ban on the sale of tiny plastics, more commonly known as microbeads, in cosmetic and personal care products by 2017. This comes just over a week after the Environmental Audit Committee, of which Jo Churchill MP is a member, released its latest report into the study of microbeads and their environmental impact. The report called on the Government to deliver a total legislative ban on cosmetic and toiletry microbeads; as an avoidable environmental problem.
Commenting on the announcement, Jo Churchill MP said: “I strongly welcome the announcement from this Government, as recommended by the [Environmental Audit] Committee, for a ban on the use of microbeads in cosmetics and toiletries by 2017.
With evidence showing that 86 tonnes of microbeads are washed into the marine environment from the UK every year with the potential to cause serious harm - being ingested by marine wildlife and transferring chemicals to and from our waters - I am delighted this Government has acted swiftly and decisively to minimise the impact of microbeads.
Already some companies have chosen to phase out microbeads and Waitrose has pledged that, by September 2016, it will no longer sell any branded cosmetic products containing microbeads. Yet, a total ban on the use of microbeads is a step; showing we are serious about our environmental futures.
A consultation will launch later this year with the intention to ban the sale and manufacture of cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads. I will monitor the progress of this, as well as the Government’s response to further recommendations from the Committee, to assess and tackle to wider implications of microplastics in other everyday items including clothes and tyres.”