California bans microbeads, fish rejoice
California is now the latest state in the nation to bad microbeads, those little ball thingies in your face wash. The problem with microbeads, as you may recall, is that they are too small for water treatment plants to filter, so they wash down drains and into bodies of water. They then become breakfast for some unsuspecting fish. But even if you hate fish and want them to suffer, plastic isn’t good for your belly either — which is exactly where it’ll end up when you have a Nemo sandwich for lunch.
California joins six other states in restricting the beads — including Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, and New Jersey — but the Golden State’s outright ban is the strongest in the nation, and includes biodegradable microbeads. Biodegradable microbeads may sound like a good alternative, but they are made from bio-polymers that could also introduce toxins into the food chain.
So what will life after microbeads be like? Can you survive in a post-microbead world? Sure you can — take it from us, there’s plenty of ways to look good without hurting the planet.
- California Becomes Latest State to Ban Plastic Microbeads , The New York Times
Get Grist in your inbox