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 microbeads enter aquatic habitats in America each and every day! That’s enough to cover 300 tennis courts.
The scrubbing these beads provide might seem like a treat, but really we are being tricked in to using unnecessary plastics that pollute our water, absorb toxic chemicals, end up being eaten by marine life and eventually pass these chemicals on to humans and other wildlife. These plastic beads do not biodegrade in water, which also means they will never really go away. The biggest trick of all might be that there is no reason to use these beads because there are many safe natural alternatives that work better.
Last year the Vermont House of Representatives passed H.4, a bill to ban microbeads, by a vote of 140-0. Time ran out on the session before the Senate could take up the issue, but when they come back in January we want to make sure this is at the top of their agenda. California and Connecticut recently banned these unnecessary beads, and with your help Vermont can be next. Take a minute and sign our petition letting legislators know that it is time to ban the bead!
Photo courtesy of International Maritime Organization via Creative Commons