Microbeads ban a positive starting point but more work to be done

27th Jul 2017

With the welcome announcement last week that the UK is to introduce legislation to ban microbeads, it is clear that government are taking seriously the responsibility to stem the flow of plastic into the ocean.

Now ORCA's Head of Science & Conservation, Lucy Babey, has outlined some of the other ways in which policymakers can help to protect the marine environment and build on this positive work.

"ORCA are proud to have been involved in the campaign for this ban to happen through our partnership with Wildlife & Countryside Link." said Lucy, who has worked at ORCA for almost four years. "The NGOs that came together to make this happen have done sterling work but we know it is only the first of many steps needed to ensure our oceans are plastic free."

"This legislation does have limits, including a focus on only six of the hundreds of different types of plastic used in cosmetics. There is also a recognition of the false notion of 'biodegradable plastics', which is a myth that still has huge negative environmental impact."

Lucy is clear, however, that this is a positive first step and that conservationists are hopeful this is a great first step to reversing some of the damage we have done to the oceans through our use of plastics.

"With interventions like this and the plastic bag charge, we are slowly seeing a change in culture. Even through our work ORCA are already noticing that people are more aware of the impact of plastics on the environment and understand how they can make a change."

"Events like the England vs South Africa test match at the Kia Oval today, which is making a significant effort to reduce the amount of plastic used during the event, shows how mainstream this issue has become and that can only be a good thing for the conservation movement.

"We hope that, as well as government action, the community can come together around the principles of 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle'. Only by working together can we safeguard our marine spaces and protect the beautiful diversity of animals living in our waters."