A blog set out to explore, archive & relate plastic pollution happening world-wide, while learning about on-going efforts and solutions to help break free of our addiction to single-use plastics & sharing this awareness with a community of clean water lovers everywhere!

Monday, October 12, 2015

California joins six other states in banning plastic microbeads

Published in BioTechin.Asia by Laxmi Iyer on  

California state has followed Illinois and five other states including Colorado, Indiana, Maine, Maryland and New Jersey in banning plastic microbeads. Illinois was the first to ban microbeads in June 2014. Governor Jerry Brown of California signed the legislation on Thursday that bans these tiny abrasives used in exfoliators and other personal care products.

(Read More: Water pollution due to microbeads: a major problem in today’s world)

“We’re obviously incredibly excited,” said Stiv Wilson, director of campaigns at the nonprofit group the Story of Stuff Project. “We just passed a very simple ban on plastic microbeads without any loopholes.”

The consumer products industry had objected to certain aspects of the bill, arguing that it was overly restrictive and did not allow companies to come up with environmentally friendly alternatives. The California rules include a prohibition against biodegradable microbeads, which other states with similar legislation allow.

Lisa Powers, a spokeswoman for the Personal Care Products Council, said in an email that the industry trade group had taken a neutral position on the bill.

Microbeads look like tiny dots suspended in cleansers and other toiletries. Manufacturers including Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble advertise their exfoliating power, particularly in face and body scrubs.

But when consumers rinse these products off, the microbeads gets flushed into sinks and sewage from where they enter the ocean and pollute them. Billions of microbeads have the same effect as grinding up plastic water bottles and dumping them into the ocean, environmentalists say.

These are harmful and are capable of affecting our aquatic ecosystems and human health. Microbeads look similar to fish eggs- especially their size, so aquatic organisms and birds mistake it for food and consume them. And when we consume these fishes and birds, they get passed onto us through the food chain.

Awareness on this issue is on the rise, and this is a step in the right direction.

Source: NewYork Times

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