Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015by Representative Carolyn B. Maloney
Posted on 2015-12-07
of new york
in the house of representatives
Monday, December 7, 2015
Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong
support of the Microbead-Free Waters Act.
Microbeads, the small plastic particles contained in many face washes and other cleansing products, too often end up in America's lakes, rivers, and other water sources. In fact, a report last year from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman found that up to 19 tons of microbeads could find their way into my home state's wastewater stream each year. These particles accumulate pollutants, increasing toxicity of our waters, and pose a threat to fish and other wildlife that ingest plastic.
I commend the many leading companies that voluntarily responded to these concerns by phasing out the use of plastic microbeads in their product lines, including L'Oreal, Unilever, and Avon.
I am pleased Congress acted this week to act on this important issue, with bipartisan legislation that will ban microbeads in personal care products beginning in 2017.
This legislation builds on the momentum from ten states that have passed legislation to ban microbeads--including nine just in 2015. Unlike some proposals that would put in place an unrealistic timeline for implementation, or phase in the restriction years later than H.R. 1321, this federal legislation will grant all parties sufficient time to eliminate microbeads, while ensuring quick action on this growing concern. The Microbead-Free Waters Act will ensure consumers know that the products they use each day will not pollute our precious lakes and rivers.
I urge the Senate to act quickly to pass this legislation, and congratulate Chairman Upton and Ranking Member Pallone for their hard work on this important bill.