Microbeads

Thank you for contacting me about plastic microbeads used in cosmetic products.
 
I understand and share your concerns about the impact these ingredients can have on the marine environment and fish. That's why I'm pleased to tell you that the UK and our neighbouring countries are now working with the industry to see their use phased out voluntarily.
 
The UK, along with several of our neighbours, is party to an international organisation known as the Oslo and Paris Convention for the Protection of the North East Atlantic. One of its most important objectives is to reduce marine litter, and in 2014 its members agreed a regional action plan to address this problem. The plan includes action on microplastics, and involves co-operating with manufacturers to achieve a voluntary phase out of their use in cosmetics and personal care products.
 
Following this agreement the European trade body for the industry, Cosmetics Europe, issued a formal recommendation to its member companies to discontinue the use of microbeads in these products. It also noted that many of its member companies had done so already.
 
I hope this will address your concerns. Thank you again for taking the time to contact me about this important issue.