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 Public Policy, Sustainability, United States, Consumer Products

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

Residents ask court to close pipe maker

November 21, 2014 3:22 pm ET

Residents living by National Pipe & Plastics Inc.'s new factory in an industrial zone of Endicott, N.Y., say the facility has “devastated the...    More

Image

Need for skilled workers is unchanged, but method of finding them has

November 21, 2014 6:00 am ET

It's in the news nearly every day now: “How can manufacturing solve the skilled worker shortage? We need to get young people interested in...    More

Image

Ineos making its UK shale play

November 21, 2014 9:29 am ET

Chemical giant Ineos Group AG is planning to be the biggest player in the United Kingdom's shale gas industry.    More

UK court hearing case of rotomolding worker killed in 280 C oven

November 21, 2014 9:00 am ET

The management at a United Kingdom rotational molding plant are facing criminal charges for the death of a worker who was trapped inside a 280...    More

Image

Thomson Plastics opens N.C. plant

November 20, 2014 3:12 pm ET

Custom injection molder Thomson Plastics Inc. has opened a new manufacturing facility in Lexington, N.C.    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

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

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

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

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events