This petition was submitted during the 2015–2017 Conservative government

Petition Ban the use of plastic microbeads in all cosmetic products sold in the UK.

Microbeads or Microspheres are small plastic spheres used a exfoliating agents in many cosmetic and personal care products. These beads can pass unfiltered through waste water treatment plants, polluting the nations waterways and seas.

More details

References:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microbeads#Environmental_effects
http://www.beatthemicrobead.org/en/

This petition is closed This petition ran for 6 months

14,717 signatures

100,000

Government responded

The UK and neighbouring countries are working with industry to achieve a voluntary phase out of plastic microbeads in cosmetics and other personal care products.

Read the response in full

The UK and other countries that are contracting parties to the Oslo and Paris Convention for the protection of the North East Atlantic (OSPAR) agreed a regional action plan to address litter in the marine environment in 2014. The action plan includes actions related to microplastics, including working with industry to achieve a voluntary phase out of the use of microplastics in cosmetics and personal care products.

Following these discussions, Cosmetic Europe, the trade association, announced the following recommendation to its members and the rest of the industry:

“Many individual member companies of Cosmetics Europe have publicly stated that they will discontinue those uses in cosmetics that are most likely to end up in the aquatic environment and for which alternatives exist.

Building on this, in order to engage the whole of the Cosmetic Europe membership and to facilitate sector wide best practice, Cosmetics Europe, the personal care association, is today issuing a recommendation to discontinue their use in wash off cosmetic and personal care products for exfoliating and cleansing purposes.

Cosmetics Europe stands ready and is committed to working in partnership with the European authorities to gather scientific data to allow a further assessment of the issue. This knowledge will facilitate scientific decision making and prioritise measures that will result in a true benefit for the environment by reducing the amount of plastic litter in the marine environment.

In order to facilitate global alignment, Cosmetics Europe is working in close contact with its international association partners”.

Microplastics found in the marine environment come from a range of terrestrial and marine sources such as the disintegration of larger plastic items discarded on streets and beaches. The Government has funded research into the possible effects of microplastics in the marine environment which will report later this year.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Other parliamentary business

MPs ask the Government to ban microbeads in cosmetics

Something’s happened in Parliament that might interest you.
 
The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee published a report asking the Government to ban microbeads in cosmetics. The report also asks the Government to develop a strategic approach to tackling other sources of microplastic pollution.
 
The Chair of the Committee, Mary Creagh MP said:
 
"Trillions of tiny pieces of plastic are accumulating in the world's oceans, lakes and estuaries, harming marine life and entering the food chain. The microbeads in scrubs, shower gels and toothpastes are an avoidable part of this plastic pollution problem. A single shower can result in 100,000 plastic particles entering the ocean.
 
Cosmetic companies' voluntary approach to phasing out plastic microbeads simply won't wash. We need a full legal ban, preferably at an international level as pollution does not respect borders.
 
If this isn't possible after our vote to leave the EU, then the Government should introduce a national ban. The best way to reduce this pollution is to prevent plastic being flushed into the sea in the first place."
 
You can find out more about what the Committee said and read the full report on the Committee's website: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environmental-audit-committee/news-parliament-2015/microplastics-report-published-16-17/
 
What is the Environmental Audit Committee?
 
The Environmental Audit Committee looks at how the Government:
 
· Protects the environment
· Contributes to sustainable development
· Meets environmental targets
 
It's a cross-party group of MPs and is independent of the Government.
 
You can find out more about the Environmental Audit Committee on its website: http://www.parliament.uk/eacom
 
You can follow the Environmental Audit Committee on Twitter: @CommonsEAC  #microbeads
 
This is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c&feature=youtu.be

Government accepts MPs’ recommendation to ban microbeads

We recently emailed you about a report from the Environmental Audit Committee, which recommended that the Government ban microplastics.

On 5 September, the Government announced that it would accept this recommendation and introduce a ban on the sale and manufacture of personal care products containing tiny pieces of plastic.

The Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Mary Creagh MP, has the following message for everyone who signed the petition:

"We are delighted the Government has accepted our recommendation to ban polluting plastic microbeads in 2017. Marine life will be affected wherever the plastic they are eating comes from, so it's vital the ban now covers all microplastics in all down the drain products. The Environmental Audit Committee will be watching the Government carefully to make sure it gets this right.

Getting a change in Government policy is not easy. Public campaigning, including petitions, helps to highlight an issue amongst the wider public and within Parliament. I'd like to thank everyone who signed the petition. Your action helped pile the pressure on Government to ban microbeads."

You can view this message on the Parliament website: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environmental-audit-committee/news-parliament-2015/microbeads-ban-chairs-statement-16-17/

What is the Environmental Audit Committee?

The Environmental Audit Committee looks at how the Government:

• Protects the environment
• Contributes to sustainable development
• Meets environmental targets

It's a cross-party committee and is independent of the Government.

You can find out more about the Environmental Audit Committee on its website: http://www.parliament.uk/eacom

You can follow the Environmental Audit Committee on Twitter: @CommonsEAC #microbeads

This is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c&feature=youtu.be