Two thirds of people support UK microbead ban

Greenpeace survey reveals public opinion

Almost two thirds of people in the UK would support a ban on the use of microbeads in cosmetics, according to a new survey from Greenpeace.

The campaign group spoke to 1,000 people in the UK and asked them about their thoughts on microbeads used in cosmetics, usually to exfoliate the skin. Just one in ten of the respondents said that microbeads should definitely not be banned.

Seven out of ten respondents did not know what microbeads were before participating in the poll, with young females the most likely to be aware of them already.

The US and Canada have already began work on banning the ingredient, as well as a number of European countries. The UK has not yet made any move towards a ban but a petition calling on the Government has attracted more than 250,000 signatures on the Greenpeace website.

Louise Edge, Oceans Campaigner at Greenpeace UK, explained: “Microbeads are one of those rare environmental problems that are actually relatively easy to solve. A ban is easy to introduce and alternatives are already available. Although it alone would not eradicate the problems caused by microplastics, it would set an important precedent in the UK that pumping plastics into our ocean is not acceptable.”

L’Oréal is currently phasing out the use of microplastics and expects to have stopped using them entirely by 2017. Unilever has already discontinued their use in its products.

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