Microbeads to be scrubbed out at last?

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The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) says it is delighted to hear that the UK Government is considering a ban on the use of microbeads in cosmetics and other products following many years of campaigning by MCS, their partners and supporters.

The Environment Minister Rory Stewart told the Commons last week: “If we cannot get a common position out of the European Union, we are open to the possibility of the UK acting unilaterally.” This followed a call for a possible EU-wide ban by the European Commission, made by Caroline Bearder MEP, that narrowly failed to achieve sufficient support from MEPs.

Carrie Hume, MCS Director of Conservation and Campaigns says: “MCS wholeheartedly welcomes this announcement. It is timely and shows leadership on the government’s part. Given how clear and alarming the evidence is, the UK can and should lead the way.”

Over more than twenty years, MCS has gathered data that illustrates the nature of the growing quantities of litter that are accumulating in our seas.

The charity has run public awareness campaigns, such as Scrub It Out, detailing how plastics have entered the seas and giving the public, industry and government the tools to reduce this.

MCS has spent many years of advocacy across the UK and at EU level, to influence policies on plastics where they are damaging the seas.

MCS has worked with a range of key players, most recently directly working with and through Greenpeace, Fauna and Flora International, Beat the Microbead and the Enviornmental Investigation Agency to secure a ban on the inclusion of microbeads in personal care products.

Carrie Hume continues: “This is a great step, which recognises the power of the coalition we are working in, and the supporters we all represent who demand these harmful ingredients be taken out.”

To find out more about the Marine Conservation Society visit www.mcsuk.org.

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