To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 16 March 2017 to Question 67637, for what reasons her Department does not have plans to assess the effect of microplastics entering the environment on animal welfare.
Defra-funded research has already demonstrated that microplastics can cause harm in the marine environment, including to marine animals. Our priority is therefore to prevent them from entering the marine environment in the first place. Our recent consultation requested evidence on the environmental impact of other sources of microplastics that may enter our seas. We will use this information to decide on what further action we will take to address microplastics entering the marine environment.