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Microplastics

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 27th February 2017.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of the total reduction in the mass of microbeads released into the environment in the UK as a consequence of the forthcoming ban on microbeads in household products.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The proposals set out in the current consultation are for a ban on the use of microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products that cause harm to the marine environment. Microbeads from these products are estimated to make up between 0.01% and 4.1% of the total of microplastics entering the marine environment. The estimated use of microbeads associated with skin cleansing products in the UK alone is 680 tonnes per year[1]. Our proposals will ensure that these microbeads and those contained in other cosmetics and personal care products no longer enter the marine environment.

[1] T Gouin et al,SOFW-Journal, 2015, 141 (3), 40 (bit.ly/2fTx5xs, pdf)

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