To date, Australia's Environment Ministers have favoured voluntary action to phase out the use of microbeads in cosmetics and cleaning products. With the growing, worldwide alarm about plastic pollution and its undoubted impact on Australia's marine life, I urge you to call for the implementation of a legally binding national ban to eliminate those remaining products that still contain trillions of ready-made microplastic microbeads just waiting to be washed down our drains and into our oceans.
I regard industry agreements as an interim step, but in order to ensure that microbeads do not reappear in the future and that all products and businesses are captured, only a binding law passed by the Commonwealth Government will suffice.
The rest of the world is responding to this problem, implementing robust laws to ban the use of microbeads. Australia cannot afford to become a dumping ground for all those non-compliant products that can no longer be sold in other countries and which may find their way here, as one of the only remaining markets into which they can be sold.
At your meeting with other environment ministers on April 27th, I urge you to demand that the Commonwealth Environment Minister agree to pass this important law before the end of 2018.
Thank you for your action to protect our oceans and contribute to a cleaner environment for present and future generations.