Marine Environment: Microplastics

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 6th March 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, pursuant to the answer of 27 February 2017 to Question 65236 on microplastics, what estimate she has made of the reduction in harm to the marine environment as a consequence of the proposed ban on the use of microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products.

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

A Defra funded study has demonstrated that microplastics can cause harm to marine animals. The estimated use of microbeads associated with skin cleansing products in the UK alone is 680 tonnes per year. Our proposals will reduce harm by ensuring that these microbeads and those contained in other cosmetics and personal care products no longer enter the marine environment.

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