Over the past few years in the UK, there has been increasing concern about the use of plastic microbeads in cosmetics, and the negative impact that is having on sea-life and the environment. Petitions to this end have gained tremendous momentum, with the UK government pledging to ensure that microbeads are eliminated from products such as shower gel and toothpaste in 2017.
Microbeads are miniscule pieces of plastic, which are too small to be filtered effectively. When these ultimately reach the sea, they are often consumed by marine life, including fish, frequently killing them before they are able to reach reproductive age. In other instances, when the fish are caught, these microbeads are ingested by humans.
George Eustice’s announcement to ban the use of microbeads pleased environmentalists in the UK and abroad, with many applauding his determination to have this issue raised as a matter of importance with other countries within the EU. Given that there are already safe alternatives to plastic microbeads, including nut shells and salt, it seems prudent to address the issue and ingredient substitution with immediate effect.
Yet the EU are appearing to show some resistance to this, claiming that imposing a ban could break EU free trade laws. The question is whether this is deliberate policy, presumably designed to protect big business, or another example of unintended consequences. This would come to pass in the event of a blanket desire to enable free trade, the consequence of which is to allow harmful activities to continue unimpeded.
Law applicants may want to think about the ways in which the EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) can be amended to include a clause about microbeads. Candidates looking to read Geography may want to consider the environmental economics pertaining to the cosmetic industry, while Biological Sciences applicants may want to think about the development of natural and environmentally-friendly alternatives to microbeads.
- Download an Economics Personal Statement 2 “Beyond this essential interest in the subject, I find that... Read more >
- HAT overview If you’re applying for History, or its joint schools, you... Read more >
- History Reading Lists The main challenge in the step up from school to... Read more >
- Music Reading List Applying for Music at Cambridge or Oxford requires a range... Read more >
- Outside reading: the key to a good application When it comes to writing your personal statement and preparing... Read more >
- Law: answer like a pro Law is a notoriously competitive subject; this, along with the... Read more >
- What Results Do You Need In Your Exams? At the heart of every Oxbridge offer is an excellent... Read more >
- Interactive Interview Exercise Manual ‘What should I expect at my Oxbridge interview?’ ‘How will... Read more >
- Download a Law Personal Statement “Participating in a Citizenship Foundation Mock Trial Competition during Year... Read more >
- HAT mini mock paper The History Aptitude Test or ‘HAT’ must be sat by... Read more >
- The Great Collection of Past Oxbridge Interview Questions The great thing about an Oxbridge interview is that it... Read more >
- Human Social and Political Science (HSPS) Reading List If you are applying for HSPS at Cambridge, it is... Read more >
- University Admissions Tests: How Would You Reply? Here we have a few questions and answers to sample... Read more >
- Is Oxbridge right for me? Have you asked yourself why you are planning to apply... Read more >
- Cambridge college snapshots Despite having a smaller number of colleges than Oxford, each of... Read more >
- The Differences Between Similar Courses At Oxford and Cambridge For some applicants, deciding between applying to Oxford or Cambridge... Read more >
- June’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- LNAT ‘So you want to go to Oxbridge’ Answers If you have been reading our book ‘So you want... Read more >
- Oxford or Cambridge? Many applicants know that they want the best, but when... Read more >
- Information on choosing a course at Oxford or Cambridge “Perhaps it is because Oxbridge encourages more ‘traditional’ A Level... Read more >
- Download a Philosophy Personal Statement “Philosophy of the mind is my particular interest, especially the... Read more >
- Geography and Earth Sciences Reading Lists Whether you’re looking at Geography, Earth Sciences (Geology), or Land... Read more >
- Cambridge Law Test overview If you’re applying to read Law at Cambridge you will probably need... Read more >
- Bursaries Both Oxford and Cambridge are committed to the principle that... Read more >