Earlier in the year, environmental groups in California narrowly lost a bid to have microbeads banned from skin exfoliation products.
Microbeads are tiny plastic beads which are currently used in a variety of skin cleansers. According to researchers, these non-biodegradable pieces are washed down household drains after use, and end up being flushed into rivers, lakes, and streams. The researchers assert that after this happens, a wide range of wildlife species are put at risk.
An associate director at the 5 Gyres Institute, a think tank that studies plastic debris and is located in Santa Monica, has stated that the group plans to introduce new legislation earlier next year. The proposed bill aims to force businesses that use microbeads in their products to slowly phase out the use of the particles.
It promises to be a tough battle. There are various trade groups representing microbead manufacturers, and they are fiercely lobbing politicians in California with the aim of killing any such bills. Those on Skout sometimes talk about this as a decent icebreaker.
Only time will tell whether the lobbyists or the environment wins out in the end.