Government has completed consultation on the controversial plastics and will move to outlaw their sale
The Government has completed a consultation on the controversial plastics used in toothpastes and shower gels and will move to outlaw their sale later this year.
Michael Gove says microbeads have a ‘devastating effect on marine life’ and will be banned
The Environment Secretary made the announcement during a speech this morning in which he set out new plans to protect the oceans.
He pledged action to reduce plastic waste as he revealed his ambition for the UK to lead the world in environmental protection.
It came as new figures showed the effect the 5p charge for plastic bags has had, with nine billion fewer used since its introduction – an 83 per cent reduction.
Mr Gove said: “More than £95million raised from the charge has been donated to environmental, educational and other good causes.”
In his speech – entitled ‘Delivering a Green Brexit’ – he said the Government needed to go further though, starting with the tiny plastic particles known as microbeads.
Speaking at the WWF, he said: “Last year the government launched a consultation on banning microbeads in personal care products, which have such a devastating effect on marine life.
The Environment Secretary pledged action to reduce plastic waste
“We are responding to that consultation today and we will introduce legislation to implement that ban later this year.
“But there is more we can do to protect our oceans, so we will explore new methods of reducing the amount of plastic – in particular plastic bottles – entering our seas.
“Improve incentives for reducing waste and litter, and review the penalties available to deal with polluters – all part of a renewed strategy on waste and resources that looks ahead to opportunities outside the EU.”
The news was welcomed by Greenpeace, who have been campaigning to have them banned, who tweeted: “VICTORY!”
Mr Gove looks gave his speech at the WWF Living Planet Centre in Woking
Elsewhere in the speech Mr Gove took a swipe at Donald Trump for taking America out of the climate change accords last month.
He said: “I deeply regret President Trumps approach towards the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.”
And he added that as the world’s second biggest carbon emissions generator the US “can’t simply walk out of the room when the heat is on”.
Mr Gove, who was appointed to his new Cabinet role by Theresa May last month, also said that farming subsidies will only continue post-Brexit if they benefit the environment.