UK microbead ban in cosmetics set for 2018

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The UK government has announced a ban on microbead plastics in cosmetics from 2018. The ban is said to be the strongest to date on the tiny plastic beads that pollute the world’s oceans, causing harm to fish and other marine life.

The ban follows calls from the public, scientists and MPs and will come in two stages, with manufacturing of microbeads in cosmetics ceasing from January 1, 2018 and sale ending from June 30, 2018.

Microbeads can be found in some cosmetic products, such as toothpastes, facial scrubs and shower gels. The tiny plastic beads are too small to be filtered by effective water treatment and end up flowing into the sea, causing a huge problem for the environment.

Microbeads could be more dangerous than bigger plastics, as they are more likely to be eaten by marine life.

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