The U.S. House of Representatives has approved H.R. 1321, the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015. This bipartisan bill, sponsored by Reps. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ), bans the manufacture of rinse-off cosmetics containing plastic microbeads by July 1, 2017 and bans the delivery of these products by July 1, 2018.
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) supports this bill.
“We are pleased to see this legislation pass with strong bipartisan support as well as with the support of the personal care product industry to protect our critical water resources from products too small to be captured by the municipal wastewater treatment process,” said Adam Krantz, CEO of NACWA. “This is an important step towards increased collaboration among key stakeholder groups to improve our nation’s water quality.”
Plastic microbeads have become a topic of concern among clean water advocates given that they are difficult to remove during typical wastewater treatment processes and can therefore pass through treatment plants and into waterways, causing harm to aquatic life and ecosystems. Natural alternatives can be easily substituted for plastic microbeads in cleansing and exfoliating products, thereby eliminating microbead pollution at its source and protecting the environment.
NACWA has supported this legislation as part of its Toilets Are Not Trashcans campaign, which is focused on keeping inappropriate products and unnecessary product additives out of sewer systems to protect water quality and the pipes, pumps, plants and personnel of the nation’s wastewater utilities.
Source: National Association of Clean Water Agencies