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UK bans microbeads from products

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A ban has come into effect in the UK to stop manufacturers making products containing microbeads.

Microbeads, which are often used in products like exfoliating scrubs and toothpastes, have been proven to make their way into the water cycle and oceans, where they can be ingested by marine life and enter the food chain.

Environment minister Therese Coffey said the ban is part of a wider plan to cut down on plastic pollution.

"We know that any plastic in the marine environment is not good and we know that animals consume this,” she told Sky News.

"They can be ingested directly into the fish and while we're still looking for extra evidence on the impact on human health, the point is that they don't need to be there and that's why we've taken the steps to have this ban.”

Manufacturers and consumers have been encouraged to turn to biodegradable alternatives to microbeads, for example, rice, apricot seeds, walnut shells, powdered pecan shells or bamboo to exfoliate the skin.

In 2015, former president Barack Obama signed a bill into US law banning microbeads.

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A ban has come into effect in the UK to stop manufacturers making products containing microbeads.
SAB,SUP,ECO
Microbeads are often used in products like exfoliating scrubs, but more natural alternatives are available / Shutterstock/Tatevosian Yana

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