The UK government plans to ban the use of plastic microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products next year.
Defra has launched a consultation which sets out its strategy to achieve the goal and seeks views on what more can be done to protect marine environment.
Microbeads are small particles of plastic and are used in some personal care products including face scrubs, toothpastes and washing powders.
They are washed down the drain but are too small to be completely filtered out in sewage treatment systems so a proportion goes into the marine environment.
In a statement, Defra said: “Government action will create a level playing field for industry, tackle inconsistency, provide consumer confidence and stop new products containing tiny pieces of plastic ending up in the marine environment.”
The consultation is open until February next year.