Banning Microbeads

lincoln_nurdleFROHere in Vermont our beautiful lakes and waterways are special to native Vermonters and visitors alike. Help VPIRG ban microbeads in Vermont and keep our precious natural resources safe for generations to come!

Microbeads are microscopic plastic orbs used as exfoliates in home hygiene and beauty products like body scrubs, face wash, and toothpaste. These tiny particles, barely visible to the naked eye, cannot be filtered out in waste water treatment facilities and end up at the bottom of our lakes, rivers, streams, and local waterways. Once introduced, these non-biodegradable microbeads are impossible to remove.

Even worse, these microplastics serve as tiny docking stations for other harmful toxins to cling to- a single plastic particle can absorb up to 1,000,000 times more chemicals than the water around it! Birds and fish mistake these particles for fish eggs and routinely consume the highly concentrated microtoxins.

2016 Legislative Preview

The 2016 Vermont legislative session is here! VPIRG is excited to build on the nearly 45 years of success that we have achieved together and continue working in the State House to protect our environment, watch out for consumers and put Vermont on a path to a sustainable future. Click on a program name below to jump ...

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How does your plastic taste?

Probably a bit like sea salt, according to a new report published in Environmental Science & Technology. We’ve known the pervasiveness of microplastic pollution in our lakes and oceans has seriously disrupted marine ecosystems by fooling organisms into thinking it is food, among other things. Now researchers have discovered plastic in common table salt found in ...

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Microbeads: Much More Trick than Treat

As we learn more about the impact that microbeads have on our environment, Vermonters are realizing they are something to be afraid of this Halloween. Microbeads are small plastic beads added to things like toothpaste and face washes to help with exfoliation.  A recent article in the Washington Post noted that up to 8 trillion ...

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VT students research innovative solutions to our plastic woes

Kids seem to often have a better ability to recognize problems than adults do. This was certainly the case in a Windsor classroom this week as I spoke with middle school students about two major environmental issues we’re facing today- microbeads in personal care products and ever-present plastic bags. To the students, it’s simple: we use ...

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UN Report Calls for Microbead Ban

The United Nations Environment Programme has released a new report in which it recommends a ban on microplastics, including microbeads, found in personal care products. The report states, “for the last 50 years, microparticles of plastic, or microplastics, have been used in personal care products and cosmetics, replacing natural options in a large number of cosmetic ...

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Buying Microbead Free

We’re working to pass legislation to ban microbeads in consumer products in Vermont. These beads are found in numerous varieties of home beauty products: toothpaste, facial cleanser, soap, and body wash to name a few. And even a little tube can pack a big punch when rinsed down the drain- The 5 Gyres Institute estimates that one ...

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Microbeads Bill Passes House with 140-0 Vote

This morning, advocates from Vermont’s environmental protection, business, and scientific community gathered alongside Lawmakers at the State House’s Cedar Creek room, in support of House Bill 4, Vermont’s bill to ban microbeads. Click Here to read the official VPIRG press release. House Fish and Wildlife Chairman Representative David Deen, cosponsor of H.4, commented on the microbeads bill ...

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Bill to Ban Microbeads Passes House Fish and Wildlife Unanimously

After deliberation and testimony, the House Fish and Wildlife Committee has unanimously voted yes on Vermont’s bill to ban microbeads! With the authoritative support of this key committee, we are excited for the future of this essential bill, and grateful to our allies who were able to testify in support. And there’s even more good news- as ...

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