A public consultation has opened on a proposed ban on products containing plastic microbeads. The process will last 6 weeks and closes on 24th March 2017.
Now is the time to make you voice heard on microbead usage.
So what’s the big deal with Microbeads?
Microbeads have been added to cosmetic products for decades and sold with the idea they promote good skincare. However the problem starts after usage when these microbeads are washed down the drain.
Waste treatment plants are not designed to filter out the tiny microbeads and that means free passage to sea.
Once out at sea, all sorts of creatures absorb or eat these microbeads, and some of these eventually get caught by fishermen and get eaten by us. So there’s you main problem – we are eating these plastic microbeads.
They’re not biodegradable and they are effectively impossible to remove from the ecosystem once there. With thousands of microbeads per cosmetic product and with millions of bottles being sold every week, the scale of this problem can not be underestimated.
So we need to stop using these microbeads today.
Launching the public consultation the minister for housing, planning, community and local government, Simon Coveney commented ‘I am very worried about the level of plastic litter that ends up in our seas and oceans. This includes plastics microbeads found in some cosmetics, body care products, toothpastes, scouring agents and detergents and I am determined to address this issue.’
‘It is concerning to think that all plastic material which has ever ended up in the marine environment will reside there for many centuries to come, unless it is somehow removed. I regard microplastic pollution as one of most significant marine environmental challenges of the 21st century’.
There is a certain sense of ‘mission accomplished’ surrounding this process, particularly given the ministers words, but it would be unwise to assume the ban will be passed. As recently as November a bill to ban microbeads was debated in the Dail but failed due to government opposition.
Now is the time to make your voice heard – fill out the online questionnaire on the Department’s website: Public Consultation on Microbeads
Let’s get this done!