TAUNTON Deane MP Rebecca Pow provoked laughter in the House of Commons last week by posing a very personal question to the Speaker.

During Prime Minister's Questions, Ms Pow stood to priase the Government's proposal to ban the use of microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products.

She added a touch of humour to a serious subject by asking John Bercow if he'd had a shower in the morning.

Ms Pow told the County Gazette: "These harmful plastics can be added to products such as shampoos and shower gels and on average over 100,000 microbeads can be washed down the drain every time someone has a shower.

"These tiny plastic particles are almost impossible to filter out of the water system and enter the oceans where there is increasing evidence to suggest that they are damaging our precious marine habitats with concerns that they may be entering the food chain too."

Ms Pow sat on an environmental audit committee inquiry into the use of microbeads and their harmful effects and also ran a personal campaign calling for change.

The Government ran a consultation calling for evidence on the issue which closed at the end of February.

The Prime Minister revealed that the Government will aim to bring in a ban relating to micro plastics in cosmetics and personal care products through legislation by October 2017.

To highlight the issue further Ms Pow has secured a Westminster Hall debate on Wednesday.

Ms Pow added: "Whilst my question may have drawn lots of laughs, it did have a very serious message.

"The threat from microbeads is very real, and in most cases totally unnecessary as other harmless alternatives are readily available.

"This Conservative Government is yet again proving to be the true party of the environment and I am pleased that the Prime Minster reiterated our commitment to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it and I am looking forward to pressing a DEFRA Minister on this matter."