Microbeads, tiny plastic particles found in many bath products, are likely hurting lakes and rivers.
California’s State Assembly has approved a measure to ban microbeads, which are touted by big companies as skin exfoliators, the New York Times reports.
But the microbeads don’t dissolve, instead entering waterstreams by the billions.
“The effect is similar to grinding up plastic water bottles, other products of concern to environmentalists, and pumping them into oceans and lakes,” NYT writes. “But because microbeads are small enough to be ingested by fish and other marine life, they can carry other pollutants into the food chain.”
A 2012 study found as many as 1.1 million of the tiny plastic particles per square kilometer in Michigan’s Lake Ontario, where many of the debris end up.
Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, and Procter & Gamble have all made pledges to phase out the most common kind of microbead from products.
The International Campaign Against Microbeads in Cosmetics has compiled a helpful list of products which allegedly contain microbeads.
Here are the products: