The full legislature approves a ban on plastic exfoliants used in many personal care products like soaps, toothpastes, and facial scrubs. The problem is, those tiny microbeads get washed down drains and easily slip through filters at water treatment systems and make their way into the groundwater.
Representative Mary Czaja (R-Irma) co-authored the bill (AB-15). She says they become a threat to the environment, fisheries, and humans. “They actually will absorb toxins or chemicals, and those are ingested by fish or ingested by humans.”
The measure would prohibit the manufacture and sale of microbeads — fully eliminating their use within the next four years. “It would allow manufacturers to transfer or change their production to more organic products, whether that’s salt, oatmeal, ground up apricot husks, almond husks that will provide the same exfoliation but they are biodegradable.”
Representative Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) co-authored the measure.
New York and Illinois already have similar bans in place.
The bill would prohibit the production of personal-care products that contain microbeads, beginning in 2018. It would ban the sale of those products a year later.