From today, microbeads have been banned from cosmetics and personal care products like toothpastes, facial washes and shower gels.
The government confirmed legislation banning microbeads – teeny-tiny bits of plastic that get washed into our oceans, causing damage to marine life – last July, but manufacturers had until today to stop adding them to products. A ban on the sale of such products will come into force later this year.
"The world’s seas and oceans are some of our most valuable natural assets and I am determined we act now to tackle the plastic that devastates our precious marine life," comments Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey.
"Microbeads are entirely unnecessary when there are so many natural alternatives available, and I am delighted that from today cosmetics manufacturers will no longer be able to add this harmful plastic to their rinse-off products.
"Now we have reached this important milestone, we will explore how we can build on our world-leading ban and tackle other forms of plastic waste."
The government adds that the ban has been 'praised by campaigners as one of the toughest in the world'.