LONDON – A British parliamentary committee is recommending a ban on plastic microbeads in hopes of cutting back on pollution in the world's oceans.
The tiny plastic particles — used in face scrubs, shower gels and toothpastes — are being found in marine wildlife globally. The report by the Environmental Audit Committee says microbeads are more of a problem than larger pieces of plastic because their size makes it more likely they will be eaten by wildlife, and thus enter the food chain.
Some cosmetic companies say they are voluntarily phasing them out, but lawmakers say action is needed now. The committee wants a ban by the end of 2017.
Committee chair Mary Creagh says a full legal ban is needed, "preferably at an international level, as pollution does not respect borders."