After thousands of people signed a petition and the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee called for a ban on plastic microbeads, the Government announced on 5 September 2016 that it would accept the Committee's recommendation and introduce a ban on the sale and manufacture of personal care products containing tiny pieces of plastic.
The Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Mary Creagh MP, said:
"We are delighted the Government has accepted our recommendation to ban polluting plastic microbeads in 2017. Marine life will be affected wherever the plastic they are eating comes from, so it's vital the ban now covers all microplastics in all down the drain products. The Environmental Audit Committee will be watching the Government carefully to make sure it get this right.
Getting a change in Government policy is not easy. Public campaigning, including petitions, help to highlight an issue amongst the wider public and within Parliament. I'd like to thank everyone who signed the petition. Your action helped pile the pressure on Government to ban microbeads."
The Environmental Audit Committee published its report on the environmental impact of microplastics on 24 August 2016.