US on course to ban harmful microbeads from bath and body products
The House of Representatives approved a bill to phase out the use of plastic microbeads in personal care products. The plan to ban microbeads in products such as body scrubs and toothpastes would take effect beginning 1 January, 2017. The next step is Senate approval, which is likely to occur based on some lawmakers already moving toward banning the beads in their states. The decision is huge for the safety of our waterways, as well as those who use them.
The Microbead Free Waters Act would begin phasing out the beads in about a year, which isn't a moment too soon considering 8 trillion of the pinhead-sized nuisances are released into waterways every day in the US alone. Fish mistake the beads for food and absorb toxic chemicals, which is then harmful for those who eat the fish. 90 percent of seabirds were also found to have ingested the particles.
The Great Lakes are especially affected by the release of microbeads, according to The Guardian. Both Michigan and Ohio, which borders the largest stretch of Lake Erie shoreline, are considering their own legislation against the tiny pollutants. Illinois has banned the sale of products containing microbeads and California finalized a bill to phase out the particles by 2020. "These microbeads are tiny plastic, but make for big-time pollution," said Republican co-sponsor of the bill Fred Upton. "We will fight any activity that puts our beloved Great Lakes in jeopardy."
Via The Guardian