Ireland to follow US and UK by introducing ban on microbeads
Communications Minister Denis Naughten is seeking to introduce a ban on microbeads, the Irish Independent has learned.
Microbeads, which are often used in cosmetic products, have been the subject of controversy in a number of countries in recent weeks.
There have been calls for their complete ban due to the threat they pose to marine life.
Microbeads are contained in cosmetic and detergent products and are particularly prevalent in facial scrubs and exfoliators.
Critics say one single shower can cause 100,000 of the particles to be washed down the drain and enter our waterways and seas.
Those calling for the ban have said the beads have a detrimental effect on the health of fish and other marine life.
However, it is not yet known whether they have a negative impact on human health.
Roscommon TD Mr Naughten, inset left, has now asked his officials to draw up plans for a ban in line with European Commission rules.
He is expected to discuss the issue with his counterparts at a meeting in Luxembourg today.
The US became the first country to announce a ban from July 2017.
And last month, the UK Government said it will introduce a ban by the end of 2017.