Success Story

States Drive Federal Action on Microbeads



NCEL Point of Contact

Julia Meltzer
Zero Waste Coordinator



Microbeads are exfoliants commonly found in personal care products like soap. Due to the small nature of microbeads, the majority of water treatment plants are unsuitable for removing them from outgoing water. Microbeads absorb toxins before being ingested by fish that mistake them as a source of food, and these toxins accumulate as they move up the food chain.


NCEL educated members about the environmental damage caused by plastic microbeads. When states introduced bills, NCEL informed members of industry efforts to insert loopholes and troublesome definitions


Over 30 states introduced bills, and state action led to the passage of a strong federal bill that prevents the sales of products containing microbeads.


NCEL Resources

Online Resources

State Action Spurs Congressional Response on Microbeads

State action paved the way for cleaner water and fewer toxins by banning plastic microbeads.

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