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

New medical firm buys Clairson Plastics

September 19, 2014 4:33 pm ET

Custom injection molder Clairson Plastics is being sold to a new start-up that plans to dive into the medical market with a new dialyzer, a key...    More

Image

Dunkin' Donuts looking at PP to replace foam cups

September 19, 2014 3:22 pm ET

Dunkin' Donuts is testing a new polypropylene coffee cup that the company believes could help boost recycling.    More

Image

Plasan investing in capacity, jobs to supply auto market with carbon fiber

September 19, 2014 3:05 pm ET

Growth in the emerging automotive market for carbon-fiber composites has spurred a $29 million investment in a Walker, Mich., factory    More

Image

Hong Kong's TK eyes expansion, may buy Nypro Tool operation

September 19, 2014 2:49 pm ET

Hong Kong-based mold maker and plastics processor TK Group (Holdings) Ltd. said it's reached a tentative agreement to buy a tooling factory in...    More

Exo-s buys injection and blow molder in Mexico, expands footprint

September 19, 2014 2:15 pm ET

Custom molder Exo-s Inc. has bought an injection and blow molding operation in San Juan del Rio, Querétaro, Mexico.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

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

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events