From January 2018 UK manufactured cosmetics and personal care products are no longer allowed to contain plastic microbeads. From July it will also be illegal to sell products that contain them.
This follows several voluntary initiatives in the cosmetics industry world-wide.
There has been growing alarm about the extent to which marine wildlife is ingesting plastic rubbish, much of it in particles too fine to trap at waste water treatment plants.
England is also expected to expand its tax on thin plastic carrier bags to apply to small businesses as well, bringing it into line with the other UK administrations.
Various other anti-plastic measures (such as a tax on take-away coffee cups) are being proposed as part of the UK’s 25-Year Plan for the environment, but it is not clear that there is much appetite for legislation and it remains, for the time being, just an ambition to reduce our dependence on plastic packaging.