The Wisconsin state Senate has passed a bill which places restrictions on the manufacture and sale of personal care products containing plastic mircobeads. The tiny plastic beads can wreak havoc in the environment, something that was discovered by researchers, including Dr. Lorena Rios-Mendoza at UW Superior.
“I think this bill shows the importance of not only science, but basic research,” said Senator Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay), the bill’s author. “Until the technology exists to stop our water treatment plants from allowing these through the filters, we’ve got to keep these out of the environment. So this is a step in that direction.”
“Eleven thousand pounds a year of this plastic goes into Lake Michigan,” said Senator Bob Wirch (D-Kenosha). “The little beads congeal, the fish eat the little beads, and we eat the fish.”
If passed by the Assembly and signed into law, the bill would prohibit manufacture of products containing the beads by 2018, and sale of the products by 2019. New York and Illinois already have bans in place.