Plastic microbeads will be banned from bathroom products such as shower gel and toothpaste in Wales if assembly members back the move in a vote later.

Campaigners say the tiny pieces of plastic are polluting the oceans with a devastating effect on marine life and are entering the food chain.

If passed, the ban on making or selling “rinse-off” personal care products with microbeads will take effect on 30 June.

Bans are taking effect today in England and Scotland.

Microbeads are a major environmental concern because they are too small to be captured in sewage treatment when washed down the drain.

Environment Minister Hannah Blythyn said: “Microbeads in rinse-off products are unnecessary and harmful to sea life.

“A ban will reduce pollutants from entering our seas and is an important step to safeguarding our marine environment.”

Plaid Cymru’s climate change spokesman Simon Thomas voiced his support, saying: “A ban on microbeads is part of the action we need to take on plastics along with a levy on single-use plastics.”

Local authorities’ trading standards departments are expected to be responsible for enforcing the measure.

It is one of a range of proposals aimed at tackling plastic pollution, alongside a ban on plastic straws and a deposit scheme for plastic bottles.

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