micro-bead picLegislation


-Awareness of the issue of microbeads began in the Netherlands. Click here to read more about legislation in Europe.

-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.

United States

-Legislation to ban microbeads has already been introduced in New York, New Jersey, California, Illinois and Minnesota.


-Researchers from the 5 Gyres Institute found a drastic and distressing amount of microbeads contaminating the Great Lakes (43,000 particles per kilometer), prompting Illinois to pass the first microbead ban in the United States last Spring. Jennifer Walling, Executive Director of the Illinois Environmental Council has urged other states to continue to pass more stringent standards.

Click here to read the Illinois bill text


Captain Charles Moore, of the Marine Research Foundation, first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Here’s his Ted talk on plastic pollution

Captain Charles Moore explains Microbeads

Videographic overview on Plastic Pollution

5 Gyres Great Lakes researchers expose Microbeads 

PBS News Hour Reports on microbead pollution in the Great Lakes, and Illinois legislation to ban the bead.

Mass communication expert Maria Westerbos TED talk on her work with the Plastic soup foundation, building awareness about Microbeads.


History of the Microbeads issue

Download the bead app

5 Gyres Microbead Campaign Homepage

5 Gyres Plastic Soup Foundation, Surfrider Foundation, Plastic Free Seas, Clean Seas Coalition Microbead position paper

5 Gyres cartoon Inforgraphic on Microbeads

5 Gyres Great Lakes Research


5 Gyres Oceanographic Institute leads the charge on education and scientific research around microbeads and plastic pollution.

The The Plastic Soup Foundation launched the Beat the Microbead Campaign in the summer of 2012 in partnership with the North Sea Foundation. By uniting different NGOs around the world, the coalition has been able to make progress.

Click here for the full list of organizations committed to Beating the Microbead!

Plastic Free Seas Hong Kong is a committed partner in ending the impact of microbeads!