California has become one of the most recent states to ban the use of microbeads which will go into effect in 2020. The measure will prohibit the sale of personal care products such as toothpaste, soaps, face wash, and body scrubs that contain plastic microbeads. These microbeads are known to absorb toxins, pollute waterways and harm wildlife.
Other states that banned the use of microbeads include Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, and Colorado. California has lead the way with one of the country’s strongest laws against microbeads. The California rules also bans the use of biodegradable microbeads which other states allow. Biodegradable microbeads may seem like a reasonable alternative, but there are no proven safe biodegradable plastics, and they don’t break down quickly. Many companies have found loopholes around the bans against microbeads by using biodegradable alternatives, but they don’t indicate how long they take to breakdown. The rest of the nation needs to follow in California’s footsteps and pass more strict laws against microbeads and unsafe alternatives.