2016 is off to a great start for consumers.
On December 28, President Obama signed the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015.
The law will effectively ban “the manufacture and introduction into interstate commerce of rinse-off cosmetics containing intentionally-added plastic microbeads.”
Several states have already banned the production and use of microbeads in products, with Illinois being the first state (in 2014) to roll out legislation that prohibits the materials.
Several other states have followed suit. California lawmakers approved a bill in September of 2015, which includes the ban of any biodegradable microbeads. Roberta Larson, executive director of the California Association of Sanitation Agencies, spoke on the importance of enacting these laws.
“Plastic microbeads can pass through some wastewater treatment plants and make their way into the environment, where they can be harmful to marine life,” she said. “Controlling these microbeads at their source is simply good public policy.”
Soap Hope founder, Salah Boukadoum, wrote about the dangers of microbeads here on our Good Life blog, back in 2014:
“These plastic beads do not break down. Marine creatures eat the microbeads, which ultimately end up in our food. They cannot be removed from the environment.
Microbeads are getting even more attention lately because they have been found lodged in the gums of many people who are using Crest toothpaste. No one knows how much damage they are causing to the very teeth that were supposed to benefit from the product.
Manufacturers of these products are fully aware of the harm they are doing to humans and to nature – but they put profits above all else and use them anyway.”
We’re excited to see that lawmakers and leaders are taking action to improve our environment and health, and prevent businesses from such destructive practices.
The bill signed by the President would require manufacturers to stop using microbeads by Jan. 1, 2018. You can read the public statement here.