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Tesco to phase out microbeads from its products by end of 2016

November 24, 2016

Tesco to phase out microbeads from its products by end of 2016

Adam Vaughan
Thursday 24 November 2016 12.51 GMT

Tesco will have phased out microbeads from all its own brand cosmetics and household cleaning products within a month, it was announced on Thursday.

While UK ministers recently said personal care products containing these tiny pieces of plastic will be banned from sale by the end of 2017, it is not clear yet whether the ban will extend to other types of products that rely on their abrasive properties.

But Tesco said that it was listening to customers’ concerns and in the spring it had instructed suppliers to either cut microbeads from products such as toothpaste entirely, or to use natural alternatives such as ground coconut shell in face scrubs.

The supermarket will also make “do not flush” labels much bigger on the front of its own brand wet wipes, which campaigners and water companies say are clogging up sewers and causing pollution. And the company’s own brand “flushable” wipes will soon be manufactured to break down more easily.

Tesco admitted it had been “behind the game” on issues affecting the oceans and marine life before.

Microbeads are pieces of plastic less than 0.5mm in diameter and have been commonly used in health and beauty products to provide an exfoliating effect. But they have been blamed for harming marine life’s ability to reproduce, and experts say more research is needed on their potential human health impacts.

Read more at The Guardian.

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