Following on from the update from the DEFRA Minister, George Eustice MP, Team Burt attended the Environmental Audit Committee's Oral Evidence Session on 29.06.2016.

Many companies are working towards removing microbeads in their products by 2017.

The full list of brands working on this are available at:

A great way to keep your microbead usage under control is by downloading the ‘Beat the Microbead’ App, with this App you can check if a product contains microbeads by just scanning the barcode with your smartphone camera. The app indicates using colour coding whether microbeads are present in the product:

  • Red: This product contains microbeads

  • Orange: This product still contains microbeads, but the manufacturer has indicated it will replace in a given timeframe or adapt the product accordingly

  • Green: This product is free from plastic microbeads

For more information, please visit:



Response from the Minister:




Many constituents have contacted me recently about the use of plastic microbeads in cosmetic products and asked me to sign Early Day Motion 1202. I do understand the concerns raised about the impact that these ingredients can have on the marine environment and fish but, as a Government Minister, I am unable to sign Early Day Motions.


As you may be aware, the UK and our neighbouring countries are now working with the industry to see the use of microbeads phased out voluntarily through its involvement with an international organisation known as the Oslo and Paris Convention for the Protection of the North East Atlantic.


One of its most important objectives is to reduce marine litter, and in 2014 its members agreed a Regional Action Plan to address this problem. The plan includes action on microplastics, and involves co-operating with manufacturers to achieve a voluntary phase out of their use in cosmetics and personal care products. More details of the Regional Action Plan can be found here:  


Following this agreement the European trade body for the industry, Cosmetics Europe, issued a formal recommendation to its member companies to discontinue the use of microbeads in these products, noting that many of its member companies had done so already.


I have written to the Minister for Farming, Food and the Marine Environment, George Eustice MP, to ask what the Government’s position is if the Regional Action Plan is not effective and will update this website post with his reply once I have received it.