1 in 5 Brits will continue to buy products with microbeads, says YouGov poll

Before (left) and after (right): What’s left on the toiletries shelf when you subtract products currently containing microbeads.

● Government rules will see microbead use in cosmetic products and cleaning products banned by 2017
● 45% of people with microbead products will continue to use them
● Many Brits struggle to identify products that can contain microbeads

One in five (20%) Brits plan to continue buying products containing microbeads despite the recent Government plan to ban microbead use in cosmetics and cleaning products by 2017, new research shows.

The YouGov poll, commissioned by drainage specialist Lanes Group, shows that despite the mounting evidence of damage caused to the environment by microbeads, few Brits are looking into suitable disposal options.

Of those who currently own products containing microbeads, 45% said they planned to keep using them, with 22% planning to dispose of the products in the bin.

A further 4% said they would dispose of the products down the sink or toilet – which would still see the microbeads enter the wastewater system – and a quarter (25%) said they don’t know what to do with them. An additional 4% said they would return the products to the manufacturer for disposal.

The research also explored public understanding of which products may contain microbeads around the home. Almost one in five respondents (19%) did not know which products from a selected list* can contain microbeads.

While over half were able to identify the potential for face/body scrub and shower gel to contain microbeads, 66% and 55% respectively, just 14% correctly answered that roll-on/stick deodorant can contain them.

Of those polled, 20% said they would continue to buy products containing microbeads until the ban is in place, with 36% planning on stopping buying microbeads and 25% admitting they don’t know.

Commenting on the findings of the study, Michelle Ringland, head of marketing at Lanes Group, said: “Microbeads present a significant environmental challenge as wastewater treatment facilities are simply unable to filter them out before they reach the ocean, creating serious water pollution.

“Although it is great to see the Government taking action on the issue with the introduction of the ban, the products that are already on the shelves in stores and in people’s homes will continue to cause pollution if proper plans for disposal are not in place.

“It’s clear from the results of the survey that public attitudes regarding the use of products with microbeads have yet to catch up with policy in this area. We encourage everyone to check the products in their home for microbeads and dispose of them appropriately.”

For advice on how to identify which products contain microbeads and for biodegradable alternatives to them, visit: http://blog.lanesfordrains.co.uk/lanes-for-drains-welcomes-microbead-ban/.