June 01, 2016

Nationwide Ban on Plastic Microbeads in Cosmetics

Sarah Kettenmann

On December 28, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 (MFWA). See Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 1321, S. 2425, 2015 WL 9450894 (Dec. 28, 2015). The MFWA bans plastic microbeads that are produced for exfoliates in cosmetic consumer products, are rinsed off “down the drain” and eventually released, following wastewater treatment, into marine environments, including rivers, lakes, and oceans. This article provides an introduction to the problem of microbeads pollution in marine environments and explores lessons learned from a multistakeholder effort to ban further production of certain types of microbeads in order to prevent further marine environment pollution.

Premium Content For:
  • Environment, Energy, and Resources Section
Join - Now