The UK now has one of world's toughest microbead bans

The UK government outlawed the manufacture of products containing microbeads on Tuesday in what it says is one of the...

Posted: Jan 9, 2018 12:55 PM
Updated: Jan 9, 2018 12:55 PM

The UK government outlawed the manufacture of products containing microbeads on Tuesday in what it says is one of the world's toughest bans on the tiny plastic particles.

The move comes amid a greater public awareness of the build-up of plastics in the world's oceans. Microbeads, which are found in a number of cosmetic products, have prompted their own concerns because of their impact on marine life -- they can enter the food chain for fish and other sea creatures, exposing them to toxic chemicals that can in turn end up on our plates.

UK Environment Minister Th-r-se Coffey called the "world-leading" ban an "important milestone" in a statement.

"Microbeads are entirely unnecessary when there are so many natural alternatives available," Coffey added.

A ban on the sale of products containing microbeads will take effect later this year.

The US, Canada and New Zealand are among the countries that have banned the use of microbeads in products. Sweden, Austria, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium have issued a joint call to outlaw the tiny particles.

Related: Microbead ban signed by Obama

The ban was recommended by the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee, which recently called for a tax on plastic-lined coffee cups and a deposit return program for plastic bottles, and wants to force producers to take more responsibility for their packaging.

"We are delighted that such a robust microbead ban has come into force," Sue Kinsey, senior pollution officer at the non-profit Marine Conservation Society, said in a statement.

"This is the strongest and most comprehensive ban to be enacted in the world and will help to stem the flow of microplastics into our oceans."

More than eight million tons of plastic end up in oceans each year, which means there could be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050 and almost all seabirds will have ingested it, the United Nations' Environment Programme has warned.

In July, China announced it intended to ban the import of many kinds of foreign waste by the end of 2017. The move led to fears among environmental and industry groups that mountains of plastic waste would pile up as Britain's recycling infrastructure became stretched to its limits.

In December, 193 countries signed a UN resolution to eliminate plastic pollution in the sea, which calls for nations to take action to reduce the use of microbeads.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 41348

Reported Deaths: 649
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah8955159
Marion5684107
Washington561274
Umatilla332844
Clackamas306165
Lane229427
Malheur189737
Jackson16176
Deschutes109813
Yamhill98315
Linn78815
Polk64315
Jefferson6009
Morrow5436
Lincoln51113
Union4652
Benton4336
Klamath4053
Wasco34715
Douglas3425
Hood River2771
Josephine2623
Columbia2531
Clatsop2370
Coos2360
Baker1143
Crook1002
Tillamook700
Curry571
Wallowa402
Lake340
Harney210
Sherman180
Gilliam110
Grant110
Wheeler10
Unassigned00
Eugene
Broken Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 52°
Corvallis
Overcast
51° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 51°
Roseburg
Overcast
54° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 54°
North Bend
Overcast
54° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 54°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events