MP’s have called for an all-out, worldwide ban on microbeads. The tiny plastic fragments found in a range of cosmetics are building up in the planet’s waterways, damaging aquatic life and filtering back into the food chain.
The call came from the Environmental Audit Committee amid revelations that the beads have even been discovered frozen into Arctic sea ice. Just one shower using a cosmetic product containing the beads can result in 100,000 microbeads being flushed into the ocean.
Although tiny, the huge volume of microbeads entering the world’s oceans could be potentially more harmful to the marine environment than larger plastic waste because of the way it’s ingested by aquatic organisms.
A small victory
Bristol MP Kerry McCarthy, the former Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has been spearheading a ban on microbeads since the beginning of 2016.
“I am very pleased with this report, as it highlights the environmental damage that microplastics in cosmetics products can cause, and the loopholes and inconsistencies in voluntary action by the cosmetics industry – especially the lack of labelling on products containing them,” she told the Bristol Post.
“In the meantime, I would urge consumers to avoid products containing them, by checking out Flora and Fauna International’s Good Scrub Guide.”
Microbeads have already been banned in the US, so it’s now up to other world leaders to follow suit.