Found in beauty products – tiny pieces of plastic which can harm marine life will be banned from sale in the UK from the end of 2017 – government will announce.
Tiny pieces of plastic in personal beauty products that end up in the oceans and are swallowed by marine life will be banned from sale in the UK by the end of 2017 – the government is to announce on Saturday.
More than 357,000 people signed a petition calling for a UK ban and environment groups welcomed the news of the ban.
Microbeads are very small pieces of plastic in products such as facial scrubs and makeup.
Some are visible to the naked eye but others are as tiny as one micrometre.
Conservationists have warned that they can affect fish growth and persist in the guts of mussels and fish that mistake them for food.
The industry had argued that it was already phasing them out voluntarily but critics have claimed some companies were exploiting loopholes or dragging their feet on a phase-out.
Greenpeace said the new ban was welcome but should be extended to other products too.