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Microbeads in cosmetic products harmful and unnecessary- Sherlock

11 January 2018

Statement by Sean Sherlock TD
Spokesperson on Justice, Children and Youth Affairs

Labour TD Seán Sherlock has said Ireland must follow in the footsteps of the UK and swiftly move to ban the use of microbeads and other micro-plastics in cosmetic and personal products.

Deputy Sherlock’s Prohibition of Micro-Plastics Bill 2016, which passed second stage in the Dáil last year, would make it an offence to manufacture, sell or advertise any products that use microbeads.

Deputy Sherlock commented:

“The use of microbeads in cosmetic and personal products is entirely unnessecary and likely to have damaging impacts on our marine environment.

“Studies have shown they can be ingested by marine animals, leading to physical harm and have reproductive or toxic effects.

“Warnings today from the CEO of the Marine Institute about the potential of these microplastics to eventually enter the human foodchain also clearly provide another incentive.

“If passed, Labour’s Prohibition of Micro-Plastics Bill 2016 would ban the use of microbeads and other micro-plastics in cosmetic and personal products by making it an offense to manufacture, sell or advertise any products that use microbeads.

“I am pleased to say that our legislation is due to move to Committee Stage in the Dáil, and has been positively received by political parties.

“If it continues in this vein through the Oireachtas, there is no reason why the ban shouldn’t be made law later this year, as is now the case in the UK, as well as the US, Canada and the Netherlands.

“While many people in Ireland already choose not to buy products that contain microbeads, we need an industry standard across the board that is backed up by legislation.

“As with all issues regarding our environment, time is of the essence.”