Make-up, sunscreen and household cleaners escape microbead ban

Household cleaning products and certain categories of personal care products will escape the UK’s ban on microbeads, environment campaigners have warned.

In September the Government launched a consultation on banning microbeads, the tiny plastic particles that are devastating marine ecosystems and creating potential human health risks.

But detailed proposals unveiled this week show that the ban will be restricted to certain categories of personal care products known as “rinse off products”. Household cleaners, make-up and sunscreen are among categories of products that will escape the new measures.

While broadly welcoming the ban, under which microbeads must be removed from certain cosmetics and toiletries by June 2018, leading environment groups say it does not go far enough.

Referring to Tesco’s commitment to remove microbeads from all its own brand personal care and cleaning products, Greenpeace commented: “If Tesco can phase out microbeads from all of their cleaning products, then it’s surely possible for the rest of the industry to follow suit.

So why haven’t the government proposed a fully comprehensive ban? We’ll be challenging them on this in our response to the consultation.”