This bill aims to phase out cosmetics and over-the-counter drugs that have microbeads by July, 1, 2019. This plan would be executed over the following timeline with these bans:
- July, 1, 2017: Manufacturing products with microbeads would be banned;
- July, 1, 2018: Selling cosmetics (like this) with microbeads would be banned;
- July, 1, 2019: Over-the-counter drugs (like this) with microbeads would be banned;
Microbeads are little synthetic plastic bits, often used as exfoliants, that can be found in hundreds of body scrubs, shampoos, toothpastes, and face washes. Because they are usually only about 5 millimeters in size, when they wash down the drain, they are often too small for municipal sewer systems to filter out. Consequently, they eventually end up in the ocean and have been blamed for harm to aquatic animals, ecosystems, and the people who eat seafoods that have inadvertently eaten microbeads.