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Efforts to ban microbeads in Finland and South Africa

A citizens’ initiative to ban microplastics in cosmetics in Finland will be considered by lawmakers after the collection of 50.000 signatures last August. The importation, production and sale of care products with microplastics should be banned according to this initiative.

A recent study from the University of the North West, South Africa, “Microplastics in freshwater water environments”, found microplastics in tap water in Johannesburg and Tshwane. One of the policy recommendations is that South Africa should consider “the immediate ban on the import, manufacture, use, formulation, sale, and export of microbeads in products.” Since, the South African government is considering a total ban on microbeads in cosmetics toothpaste and sandblasting.

Beat the Microbead’s partner organisation in South Africa, International Ocean Institute says that they are “excited to see that the government of South Africa is being proactive about unnecessary plastics and is moving towards a ban on microplastics in personal care products. We hope this ban will be comprehensive and will expand to include household cleaning products and hopefully, one day, other unnecessary single use plastics. It is clear that plastic is becoming ubiquitous in our environment and the more proactive governments and citizens are to reduce this, the better it will be.”

Photo credits: MPCA Photos

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