This past Tuesday, September 8, 2015, California lawmakers approved a measure that will ban plastic microbeads, non-biodegradable plastic particles found in numerous shampoos, exfoliating products, soap, and toothpastes, starting in the year 2020. This is an exciting step in the right direction for our world's waterways, as tiny plastic particles such as these have been a major source of water pollution.
Bodies of water such as the Pacific Ocean (hello, Great Pacific Garbage Patch!) and the Great Lakes have had plastic pollution catastrophes that have been increasing with each passing year. Although this bill cannot reverse the damage that is already done (and sadly, continues to be done every day), if implemented will represent some real progress in the area of eradicating plastic water pollution. "We cannot afford to wait any longer to end micro-plastic pollution, the cost to the environment and wildlife is too great," says California Representative Richard Bloom (D-- Santa Monica), the author of the bill.
The bill now heads to Governor Jerry Brown for his consideration. Six other states have passed bills banning or restricting use of plastic microbeads. Let's hope California joins the fight against these dangerous particles that are sickening and killing our marine life (not to mention the fact that if there are plastic microbeads in products like toothpaste, that can't be good for humans either! Frightening).