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Information on the ban of the sale of products containing microbeads

The Environmental Protection (Microbeads) (England) Regulations 2017 introduced the ban on manufacturing and the selling of rinse off personal care products containing microbeads.

A 'microbead' is defined in the Regulations as "any water-insoluble solid plastic particle of less than or equal to 5 mm in any dimension". 

Microbeads are commonly added to cosmetic products for exfoliating and cleansing purposes, they can often be found in products such as shower gel, body wash, bath foams, bath bombs, shampoos and conditioners, scrubs, face washes, and exfoliators.

The regulations make it an offence to:

  • Use microbeads in the manufacture of any rinse-off personal care product
  • Supply, or offer to supply, any rinse-off personal care product containing microbeads

Advice for businesses who manufacture and/or sell rinse-off personal care products is available from Business Companion. Alternatively they can contact Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

If you have concerns about a product being sold containing microbeads, please contact Trading Standards on the above number.