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Microbead-free Alderney retailers receive awards

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FORMER Olympic swimmer Duncan Goodhew presented awards to Alderney retailers who had stepped up to a local conservation challenge to stop stocking products containing plastic microbeads.

Jill Benfield of Boardman's Pharmacy, Dr Mel Broadhurst-Allen, AWT, Lynne Roscrow of Natural Flow Therapy and Duncan Goodhew, at microbeads awarts AWT office Alderney by Emma PInch (21399217)

Tiny plastic microbeads are often used in skin and personal care products for a scrubbing effect. Their size means they bypass water treatment systems and flow into oceans and rivers, harming aquatic wildlife.

A UK ban on the manufacture of microbeads came into force in January. Its ban on the sale of products containing them will begin in July, but because of the supply chain local authorities have decided there is no need to adopt legislation in the Bailiwick.

This led to wildlife campaigners challenging retailers and salon owners to voluntarily make efforts to limit or stop sales of products with microbeads in them.

Common products containing microbeads include gels and creams designed to exfoliate the skin and toothpastes.

Seven awards were handed out at a presentation ceremony at the Alderney Wildlife Trust office – six gold awards for businesses with no microbead products on their shelves and one silver award to Boardman’s Pharmacy. It had one remaining product containing microbeads on its shelves but pledged not to stock it in future.

Le Cocqs, the Farm Shop, Eden Face and Body treatments, Natural Flow Therapy and Stop 2 Shop do not and say they will not stock microbead products.

Handing out the awards, Mr Goodhew said: ‘If you look at the oceans, everything ends up there. If we are dumping those tiny beads into the sewage system we all know what will happen to them. There are clear health risks with plastics too; they get smaller and smaller and never go away if they are not completely biodegradable. So congratulations to all of these businesses for making this good decision. Alderney is the best place in the world, as we all know, so well done.’

Dr Mel Broadhurst, AWT Marine Biologist, said: ‘This is very positive for the island.

‘It means people can now buy local, safe in the knowledge that almost anything they buy is microbead free.’

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