Policy Update

State Action Spurs Congressional Response on Microbeads

December 22, 2015

Region

Federal

NCEL Point of Contact

Mara Herman
Environmental Health Manager

Contact

State action has paved the way for cleaner water and fewer toxins in the environment by banning plastic microbeads. These small pieces of plastic are commonly found in personal care products, and end up polluting lakes and waterways after slipping through filters at water treatment plants. Microbeads accumulate toxins from the environment, and are ingested by fish and other organisms commonly eaten by humans.

Nine states have now banned microbeads and 16 other states considering legislation. Congress has now voted to ban the manufacturing of beauty products with plastic microbeads starting July 1, 2017, and the sale of such products starting July 1, 2018.