Does your favorite body wash or facial scrub have microbeads in them? If so, we hate to break the news to you, but now is the time to find a new way to exfoliate.
President Barack Obama recently signed the bi-partisan bill “H.R.1321 – Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015,” which bans the selling and distributing of any products consisting of these tiny plastic beads starting in 2017, says CNN.
Microbeads, which are less than 5 millimeters, have grown pretty popular over the past few decades and can be found in many products including facial creams, soaps and even toothpastes.
But in the past few years, environmentalists and scientific studies have rung the alarm on how these tiny non-biodegradable pellets can pose a serious threat to the environment, specifically polluting our oceans and lakes. Also, because they are washed down our drains, their toxins can make its way into the food chain by being absorbed by fish and “eventually, end up in the fish fillets or sushi on your dinner plate. Slate notes.
Most recently, a study published in September 2015 found that each day more than 8 trillion microbeads were entering the water supply in the U.S.—“enough to coat the surface of 300 tennis courts,” CNN noted.
While this may be the first federal gesture to ban microbeads, states including Illinois, California and New Jersey have already made laws ditching them. And even some of the major companies that actually created this trend such as Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson have vowed to phase out microbeads in their products in the near future.