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A fantastic development in the case of microbeads was recently announced in the UK, thanks to new legislation that banned these dangerous plastic particles. Now, Gibraltar is following suit and will also ban the sale of products containing microbeads!

Gibraltar’s Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Dr. John Cortes, tweeted that a similar project was “already planned” in Gibraltar after the UK made their announcement. He also mentioned that it will benefit for the UK’s ban as well, since many products, including personal care ones, are imported from there.

The ban on the sale of cosmetics and toiletries containing microbeads is a part of the collected fight against the huge amounts of plastic entering the oceans. Even though a single microbead is a very tiny piece of plastic, there can be thousands in one single squeeze of face wash. When all of these tiny beads accumulate, they become quite the large problem. Because of their size, microbeads easily get through water treatment facilities and make their way into the oceans. There, they are easily consumed by marine animals –  evidence has even shown microbeads are eaten by zooplankton. Once microbeads are ingested, they can clog up animals intestines or become absorbed into their tissues and release toxins into their bodies.

But microbeads are not a problem only for marine animals – people are impacted by their coming around as well. It is estimated that those who eat shellfish consume over 11,000 pieces of microplastics each year!

According to 5 Gyres, in one tube of facial scrub, there may be as many as 300,000 plastic microbeads. Now, think just how many tube-fulls like that end up in the oceans globally – and these beads can be found in way more than just face wash.

Considering scientists recently developed a 100 percent biodegradable replacement for plastic microbeads,we can only hope these plastic scourges will be a thing of the past soon.

We’re so glad to see the UK and Gibraltar taking the lead in banning these harmful plastics, we can only hope it will inspire others to do the same!

Want to start cutting microbeads out of your life? Check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign to learn how!

Image source: Steve Cordor/Shutterstock

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