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Wednesday, January 6, 2016News

Plastic microbeads banned from cosmetics in United States

© L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques

President Barack Obama signed it on December 28, 2015: the ban of plastic microbeads in cosmetic products became a law in the United States with the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, and they will have disappeared from the market as July 2018.

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The Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 was passed by the U.S. Senate on December, 18, and signed into law by Mr. Obama on December, 28. The House of Representatives approved it earlier in the month. The act requires the manufacturing of rinse-off products containing tiny bits of plastic known as microbeads to end by July 1, 2017, and the sale of them to cease by July 1, 2018.

The law also would also ban over-the-counter items that contain microbeads, such as whitening toothpastes, acne scrubs and wrinkle creams. Those will no longer be allowed to be manufactured beginning July 1, 2018, and their sale will be banned on July 1, 2019.

In the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, the term ‘plastic microbead’ means 'any solid plastic particle that is less than five millimeters in size and is intended to be used to exfoliate or cleanse the human body or any part thereof. The term ‘rinse-off cosmetic’ includes toothpaste.’

This law comes from environmental and health concerns: rinse-off tiny plastic beads flow right down the drain and out into the waterways. Most do not biodegrade and simply float through the waters, where they can be eaten by fish and other marine. …

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