California votes to ban microbeads – is the next step Federal law?

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

California votes to ban microbeads – is the next step Federal law?

Related tags United states

The California State Assembly has voted to introduce strict legislation that bans the use of plastic mircobeads in cosmetic formulation, joining a growing list of states to make similar rulings.

That list now includes Colorado, Illinois, Maine and New Jersey, which have all now passed similar legislation, with a number of other states, including New York, readying for the final passage for similar legislation.

But with the growing impetus of legislation at the state level, similar legislation proposing a ban on microbeads in personal care that was first proposed at a federal level in March is now likely to gain further momentum.

California bill raises the bar

The California bill is said to be the toughest ban on microbeads so far, and is now heading to the senate, where it is expected to undergo a new ballot in the chamber during the summer.

A similar bill was defeated by the state Senate last year, by just one vote, but observers feel that with the growing momentum from the legislation in other states, it should have an easier passage this time round.

However, as state laws start to reconfigure the legislative map of the United States, the pressure is mounting on Federal law makers to take action, which could negate the need for further legislation at a state level.

Are further state laws necessary?

Representatives Fred Upton (R-Mich) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) introduced federal legislation to ban plastic microbeads from personal care, taking a similar stand to the legislations that have already been passed at a state level.

As the bill gathers momentum in the Washington D.C. legislation process, mounting awareness of the potential harm to the environment of the microbeads that has resulted in a concerted campaign behind the state legislations is likely to offer a smoother passage to this federal legislation.

If passed, the federal bill would ban the sale or distribution of cosmetics products containing plastic microbeads throughout the United States, effective January 1st​, 2018.

Related topics Regulation & Safety

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