Goodbye, microbeads! U.S. President Barack Obama signed into a law “Microbead-Free Waters act of 2015,” yesterday. You can easily understand from the title that the law stands for banning the production and sale of tiny plastic particles commonly added as abrasives to beauty and health products such as exfoliating facial scrubs and toothpaste.
The act, approved earlier this month by the House of Representatives, will be effective on July 1st, 2017. The U.S. House passed the bipartisan on Dec 7th that “prohibits the manufacture and introduction into interstate commerce of rinse-off cosmetics containing intentionally added plastic microbeads.”
The beads are about the size of a pen-dip. Scientists have shown them by filtering through municipal waste water treatment plants after they have rinsed down the drain by consumers while using soaps, toothpaste or any scrubs containing them. Their headache is that the floating plastic can be attached to the tiny beads. When a fish or any other wildlife mistakes them as edible, they enter the food chain.
The microbeads will be phased out of consumer products over the next few years. The revolution starts with a ban on manufacturing the tiny beads on July 2017, followed by product-appointed manufacturing and sales bans in 2018 and 2019.