beauty

We've got some bad news: Your favourite face cleanser could now be banned.

By Stephanie Smail

A Senate committee will call for an immediate ban on microbeads and for single-use plastic bags to be off-limits nationwide to try and reduce pollution.

The ABC understands the bans would be high on the list of recommendations from an inquiry into the threat of marine plastic pollution in Australia.

The report, due to be handed down this week, will call on all states and territories to ban single-use plastic bags and suggest the Federal Government steps in if they do not.

“If the states aren’t going to get on and do this there is a role for the Federal Government to say ‘this process has failed through COAG and we need to look at a national scheme’,” committee member Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson said.

The Federal Government had already committed to a voluntary phase-out of microbeads, which are found in beauty products like scrubs and toothpastes.

Microplastics or microbeads seen in a common facial cleansing product. (Image: ABC)
ADVERTISEMENT

It is understood the committee wants an immediate ban on microbeads.

Senator Whish-Wilson said the committee would like to "see some very strong action".

"I hope the committee takes the evidence on face value and puts forward a strong set of recommendations," he said.

The adoption of container deposit schemes in all states and territories had also been flagged as a solution.

Dave West, from lobby group Boomerang Alliance, said there were positive signs schemes were already in progress.

"We expect New South Wales to announce a container deposit scheme in the next four weeks and Queensland and the ACT are not far behind them," he said.

Advantages to national approach: CSIRO scientist

CSIRO research scientist Dr Denise Hardesty supports a proactive, national approach that builds on success stories like the South Australian container deposit scheme.

"There are some simple things that we already know," she said.

"It's really important and I think there are some real advantages to having a large-scale integrated and national approach," she said.

The Federal Government said if voluntary measures to phase out microbeads did not work, it would take action to ban them next year.

It said it would also continue working with states and territories to cut down on plastic bag use.

This post originally appeared on ABC News.

© 2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. Read the ABC Disclaimer here.

00:00 / ???