State Bans Plastic Microbeads

Connecticut lawmakers have banned the use of plastic microbeads in cosmetics, according to the office of State Rep. Terry Backer.

Non-biodegradable microbeads – found in soaps, cleansers, toothpaste, and other personal care items – can be hazardous to wildlife, particularly fish.

“Plastic microbeads are showing up in fish in our food chain. They absorb toxins and pose a risk to human health,” Rep. Backer said in a statement Tuesday. “Tons of plastic beads are currently being flooded into our water courses, resulting in millions of unnecessary particles.”

The ban has been incorporated into the 2016-2017 budget bill Gov. Dannel Malloy signed today. Manufacturers will have three years to phase out the use of microbeads from products sold in Connecticut, according to Backer’s office.

“Were giving the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering the responsibility to test any microbead the industry puts forth as potentially biodegradable, that could potentially circumvent this ban,” Backer stated.

Alternatives to microbeads used in the past include crushed nut shells, Backer’s office said.