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In the News, Winter 2017 - 18: UK Bans Plastic Microbeads in Personal Care Products

UK ban plastic microbeads shower gel personal care cosmetic product toothpaste United Kingdom exfoliate water treatment marine life ocean toxin legislation Microbead-Free Waters Act 2015 manufacture packaging distribution

A prohibition on the use of plastic microbeads in manufacturing “rinse-off” personal care and cosmetic products, such as toothpaste and shower gels, took effect in January 2018 in the United Kingdom. A ban on the sale of such products will begin in July. The tiny spherical beads, which are designed to help cleanse or exfoliate the body and then be rinsed down the drain, often pass through water treatment plants and end up in waterways, where they pose a threat to marine life. Thousands of tons of them wash into the ocean each year. They do not degrade over time and can introduce toxic...

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