A Southside MP has today called on the UK Government to “stop dragging their heels" on marine pollution and introduce a ban on plastic mircrobeads in cosmetics and toiletries because of the damaging impact the particles have on our environment and marine life. re">
The House of Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee has today published a report recommending that a ban should be introduced before the end of 2017 on microplastics being used in products such as toothpaste, exfoliating scrubs and shaving gel.
Stewart McDonald, MP for Glasgow South, highlighted the Scottish Government’s work to protect Scotland’s natural environment with 40 action points included in the Marine Litter Strategy, published in August 2014.
Commenting, Stewart McDonald said:
“These damaging microbeads are rapidly accumulating in the world’s oceans – it is estimated that between 15 and 51 trillion microplastic particles have accumulated in our oceans – and can be highly damaging when mistakenly eaten or inhaled by marine life.
“Marine litter costs Scotland an estimated £16.8million a year, and impacts on our environment, wildlife, industry and tourism but as product manufacturing standards are reserved to Westminster it is vital that the Tories stop dragging their heels on marine pollution and introduce a ban.
“Ideally this would be an EU-wide ban for the greatest positive impact on our environment and would ensure that the UK does not lose out on manufacturing opportunities to other EU countries that do allow the use of microbeads in their products.
“And while it is welcome that companies such as Scottish Fine Soaps in Falkirk and the Co-operative have voluntarily stopped using microplastics in their toiletries, I am concerned that a voluntary ban will not be enough to encourage all companies to phase them out.
“SNP is committed to protecting Scotland’s natural environment which is why the Scottish Government launched the first ever Marine Litter Strategy in 2014 with 40 key actions to minimise coastal and marine litter including the encouraging alternatives to plastic microbeads in cosmetics."