The Swedish Government has revealed its decision to ban the use of microplastic in certain cosmetic products, as part of measures to reduce plastic in the oceans.

To be effective from 1 July, the ban will apply to cosmetic products that are to be rinsed off and contain plastic particles for cleansing, exfoliating or polishing.

Products such as toothpaste, body exfoliators, face scrubs, shower gels, shampoos and conditioners that contain microplastics are included in the ban.

“Adding microplastics to rinse-off cosmetic products is completely unnecessary.”

However, the ban will exclude products that consist of only natural polymers, non-synthesised long molecules, and non-chemically modified ingredients such as rice grains and coconut shell.

Sweden Environment Minister Karolina Skog said: “Adding microplastics to rinse-off cosmetic products is completely unnecessary. It’s not the largest source of plastic in our oceans but it is a ‘low-hanging fruit’, and the ban is a necessary step towards reducing microplastics in water.”

Meanwhile, the ban will not apply to stock purchased before the deadline and the retailers can sell the products until 1 January 2019.

The manufacturing and imports of such products will be supervised by the Swedish Chemicals Agency, and the distributors and retailers will be monitored by municipalities.

The government has also decided to award an annual Skr17m ($2.13m) grant to municipalities to clean Sweden’s beaches of plastic pollution.