The Connecticut General Assembly yesterday voted to pass a state budget bill that includes a provision to ban the sale and manufacture of microbeads in personal care products.
The Connecticut authorities are targeting over 100 consumer products, mainly in the personal care category, where the microbeads are formulated in facial and body scrubs.
No place for microbeads any longer
A growing body of evidence suggests that the tiny non-biodegradable plastic beads are causing significant pollution issues in waterways across the United States, and posing a significant threat to aquatic life.
Once governor Malloy signs the bill into law, Connecticut will join a growing list of states to implement a ban, that also includes California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine and New Jersey.
“Connecticut has not only stepped up to protect our waters, but we have also raised the bar to help protect waters nationwide. By closing the industry loophole, Connecticut can help drive the entire market toward safer alternatives,” said Louis Burch, of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, an organization that has been pushing for the state legislation.
Will federal law eventually usurp state legislation?
The recently passed 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. But while state legislators are upping the ante, similar legislative moves are also happening at a federal level.
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. legislative 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.