The budget has passed and one of the bills included a provision to ban the sale and manufacture of plastic microbeads in personal care products.
In a press release from the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Connecticut's legislation would allow for an independent study on biodegradable plastics and would require the state to pass legislation to allow them in the future if the study shows they don't adversely impact the environment.
“This is a major victory for Long Island Sound and all Connecticut waters,” said Louis Burch of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “Having a clean face shouldn't equate to having polluted water.”
Plastic microbeads are an ingredient found in more than 100 different products like facial scrubs, soaps, shampoos and toothpastes.
“Research indicates that these tiny plastic particles easily pass through sewage treatment plants and pollute our waterways, where they threaten aquatic life and transport toxins throughout the environment,” the press release said.
“Connecticut has not only stepped up to protect our waters, but we have also raised the bar to help protect waters nationwide,” Burch said in the release. “By closing the industry loophole, Connecticut can help drive the entire market toward safer alternatives.”
According to the press release, based on per-capita use of personal care products with microbeads in the country, it is estimated that Connecticut residents wash more than three tons of microbeads down the drain every year.
“Once they enter the wastewater stream, microbeads can discharge into streams and rivers and eventually end up in Long Island Sound,” the press release said. “Plastic microbeads can accumulate toxins present in our waters, including PCB's and pesticides.”
State Rep. Terry Backer said plastic microbeads are showing up in fish in the food chain.
“They absorb toxins and pose a risk to human health. Tons of plastic beads are currently being flooded into our water courses resulting in pollution from millions of unnecessary particles.”
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