New York political leaders have renewed their push to outlaw microbeads, which is a plastic additive you may find in personal care products and is polluting our waterways.
There are at least 7 states, including Illinois, New Jersey, and Wisconsin, that have already banned microbeads.
An April 2015 report released by Attorney General Schneiderman’s office found that microbeads were present in 74 percent of water samples taken from 34 municipal and private treatment plants across New York State, according to a press release.
Tiny beads cause huge environmental concerns:
“These tiny pieces of plastic have already caused significant ecological damage to New York’s waterways, and they will continue to do so until they are removed from the marketplace. That’s why I introduced bipartisan legislation to federally ban microbeads across the country,” said Senator Gillibrand.
“Plastic microbeads are too small to be stopped by normal water treatment systems, and they collect toxins in the water that harm not only fish and birds, but also the people in this region who rely on them for food and wellbeing,” she added.
According to Reuters, in May, Gillibrand introduced a bill for a nationwide ban of products with synthetic plastic microbeads, which are too small to be captured by waste water treatment plants. Included in the gel or liquid of some personal care products and touted as exfoliate agents, they have been found in large bodies of water, where fish can confuse them for food, the attorney general’s office said.
Plastic microbeads pile up into problems:
“Microbeads are a threat to our environment, our wildlife, and our public health,” said New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
“New Yorkers wash more than 19 tons of microbeads down the drain every year. Strong, comprehensive regulation is the only way to stop this situation from getting worse. My bipartisan bill in Albany and Sen. Gillibrand’s bipartisan bill in Washington will both be major steps toward a cleaner, healthier state.”
“Plastic microbeads are not just an environmental issue, but a region economic issue that is hurting our local fishing businesses across the South Shore of Long Island,” said Suffolk County Legislator Bill Lindsay III.
“I stand behind the efforts of Senator Gillibrand and Attorney General Schneiderman to ban plastic microbeads in consumer products to better protect our water quality, our fish and bird populations, and our local economy.”
It would be a win for the environment and for the animals that use our waterways.