California starting process to ban microbeads from store shelves

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: May 30, 2014 10:20 am ET
Updated: May 30, 2014 10:24 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Consumer Products, Sustainability, Public Policy, United States

Just before heading out for the long Memorial Day weekend, California legislators gave the go-ahead vote to a plan that would eliminate products containing plastic microbeads from store shelves in the state.

With the 47-13 vote, the bill moves on to state Senate, which has already assigned it to a committee for consideration.

California is not the only state looking to ban the polyethylene bits from cosmetics and personal care products. The New York State Assembly voted 108-0 in favor of legislation banning the microbeads May 5. Illinois also has a microplastic ban in the works.

The California bill would establish a $2,500 per day fine for each violation of the microbead ban and also would exempt products containing less than 1 part per million by weight of microplastic.

The cosmetic industry, however, is urging the states to hold off on legislating a problem they say they are working to fix.

An amendment already pushed the proposed California ban back from the original 2018 start date to 2019.

Johnson & Johnson has halted development of products containing microbeads and is working out alternatives for the products that already containing them, attempting to avoid discontinuing a product entirely and upsetting consumers.

“Our goal is to complete the first phase of reformulation by the end of 2015,” the company said via email, which would cover about half the J&J products that include microbeads.

5 Gyres quietly approached Unilever at the end of 2012 and popular retail chain The Body Shop in early 2013, urging the companies to disavow PE microbeads after the environmental group’s study of the Great Lakes in 2012 found 600,000 microbeads per square kilometer (0.39 square mile) in two different Lake Erie water samples.

Microbeads have only become popular in the cosmetics market in the last decade, as a gentle exfoliating alternative to items such as ground walnut shells, which can have sharp edges that tear sensitive skin or pose an allergy risk to some consumers. But existing water treatment facilities are not designed to capture such small pieces of debris and the 0.3mm microbeads literally slip through the cracks and into the watershed.


Comments

California starting process to ban microbeads from store shelves

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: May 30, 2014 10:20 am ET
Updated: May 30, 2014 10:24 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Prices trending up for some recycled resins

July 24, 2014 1:27 pm ET

Plastics News is correcting prices for recycled grades of several commodity resins on this week's resin pricing chart.    More

Image

Chinese auto suppliers growing in US

July 24, 2014 4:17 pm ET

Two China-based automotive suppliers are expanding in the U.S., according to information released by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.    More

Image

Rail improvements also allow rotomolder to improve operations

July 24, 2014 3:10 pm ET

An infrastructure improvement grant from the U.S. Commerce Department is helping an Indiana plastics plant expand its product line and add jobs.    More

PetStar doubles capacity at Mexico recycling facility

July 24, 2014 2:10 pm ET

Mexican recycling giant PetStar SAPI de CV, owned by the System of Coca-Cola Bottlers in Mexico, has doubled the capacity of its facility to 130...    More

Meredian merging with Danimer Scientific

July 24, 2014 1:59 pm ET

Bioplastics maker Meredian Inc. is merging with its sister firm, Danimer Scientific LLC.    More

Market Reports

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Market Review & Outlook 2014

This special report from Plastics News examines the North American plastics recycling industry and provides insight into indicators that impact market viability, including Resin pricing trends for virgin and recycled market material and historical Resin production trends for post- consumer and industrial waste.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events