NGT asks govt to issue notification on microbeads
NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday directed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to issue a notification classifying microbeads as "unsafe" for use in cosmetic products.
Microbeads are manufactured solid plastic particles of less than one millimetre in their largest dimension. They are most frequently made of polyethylene and are used in exfoliating personal care products, like soaps, facial scrubs and toothpastes or even over-the-counter drugs.
When washed down the drain, microbeads can pass unfiltered through the sewage treatment plants and make their way into rivers and canals, resulting in plastic particle water pollution.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the government, through the Bureau of Indian Standards, to come out in two weeks with a notification to consider plastic microbeads, which are "5 mm or less, water insoluble, solid plastic particle used to exfoliate or cleanse in a rinse-off personal care products", as unsafe for use.