More than 90 percent of respondents to a Greenpeace survey in the United Kingdom have backed a ban on microbeads.
The results of the poll also showed that 84 percent of U.K. consumers would be discouraged from buying a company's product if it was found to be extensively polluting the oceans.
Greenpeace added that more than a quarter of a million people have signed a petition calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to follow other countries in banning microbeads. President Barack Obama signed legislation late last year to ban microbeads starting in 2017. Canada also is moving forward with a ban.
Microbeads, typically polyethylene, are found in a variety of personal care products, and are used extensively as an exfoliating agent in wash-off creams, scrubs, gels and toothpaste.
They are too small to filter through standard waste treatment systems, and Greenpeace said that millions of the beads end up in our oceans on a daily basis. Microplastics are believed to represent one of the biggest emergent threats to marine life.
Greenpeace UK oceans campaigner Louise Edge, said: “These results show clearly that a vast majority of U.K. consumers are concerned that the personal care products they buy are causing millions of microplastics to flush down our drains and out into our marine ecosystems.
“Microbeads are one of those rare environmental problems that are actually relatively easy to solve. A ban is easy to introduce and alternatives are already available. Although it would not alone eradicate the problems caused by microplastics, it would set an important precedent in the U.K. that pumping plastics into our oceans is not acceptable.”
British Plastics Federation (BPF) Director-General Philip Law, said: "The BPF's policy is against the use of microbeads in cosmetic applications on account of difficulties in controlling their widespread dispersal after use.
"We understand that a long string of top cosmetic brands has committed to stop using microbeads voluntarily."