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 and personal care formulations … [when] washed down the drain, those particles cannot be collected for recycling, nor do they decompose in wastewater treatment facilities, inevitably ending up in the global ocean, where it fragments and remains … these plastics may take hundreds of years to completely degrade.”
VPIRG is currently working to pass a bill (H.4) that would ban microbeads in personal care products in Vermont. H.4 passed the House earlier this year by a 140-0 vote. VPIRG will be working to get this bill through the Senate and on the governor’s desk in 2016.