In 2015, the 127th Maine State Legislature passed a bill that on its surface, intends to ban Microbeads in the state. While a great idea, the bill that passed is unfortunately crafted after the weak Illinois bill that is riddled with industry loopholes and setting bad precedent for other states to follow.
The Chapter submitted testimony ahead of the February 4, 2015 hearing calling for specific amendments to strengthen the bill & close the loopholes, but unfortunately, other well-meaning environmental nonprofits also submitted testimony, calling for blanket passage of this weak bill, as written. Fearing the bill might die if they pushed for closing the loopholes, the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources ultimately voted that the bill Ought to Pass.
On March 10, 2015, the bill was passed the House, and on March 11, it passed the Senate. Maine is now added to the growing list of states passing bad bills on microbeads that support industry exploitation and pollution.
The Chapter is still working to educate the public on the dangers of microbeads pollution in our waters, and aims to launch a followup campaign targeting companies that use plastic microbeads. To get involved and help plan this campaign strategy, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about these dangerous industry loopholes here: http://www.surfrider.org/coastal-blog/entry/state-legislation-survey-whats-trending-microbead-bans.
See how your Maine State House & Senate reps voted on this bill:
Read the text of the bill here: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_127th/billtexts/SP003301.asp.