As they say, third time's a charm. Last year, California was one vote short of banning plastic microbeads. Then, just yesterday, the Senate was two votes short of banning the bead. Today however, on a motion to reconsider, the Senate passed AB 888, banning personal care products containing plastic microbeads. Now, the bill awaits signature by Governor Jerry Brown before becoming law, and the strongest microbeads bill the nation has seen yet.
Specifically, AB 888 prohibits, on and after January 1, 2020, selling or giving away personal care products - like soaps, toothpastes, and body washes - containing plastic microbeads, in California.
As plastic microbeads are a major source of marine plastic pollution, once this bill is signed into law, it will be a major victory for our ocean, and set a great example for other states. Meanwhile, the United States legislature is also considering a federal bill to ban microbeads in cosmetics, the Microbead Free Waters Act of 2015. Surfrider Foundation will continue to monitor that bill and is hopeful our leaders will follow California's great example and take action at the national level.
Plastic microbeads are just one nasty contributor to the massive marine plastics pollution problem. To learn more about Surfrider's Rise Above Plastics campaign, please visit the website, and get involved with your local Surfrider Chapter.