Products with plastic microbeads to be banned under new California law

Gov. Jerry Brown approved measure Thursday that will ban exfoliating microbeads in personal care products.

The measure by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) will prohibit the sale of soaps, facial and body scrubs, toothpaste and other products with plastic microbeads as of Jan. 1, 2020.

Environmentalists advocated for the ban, saying the tiny plastic particles can get through typical water treatment plants and end up polluting waterways.

The measure was changed in the face of opposition from businesses, including Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble. Late amendments deleted references to natural exfoliants from the measure, and removed a requirement that the state Department of Toxic Substances Control evaluate alternatives to plastic microbeads.

Mark Murray, executive director of Californians Against Waste, which sponsored the bill, said the purpose of the legislation -- to eliminate plastic particles from soaps, shampoos and toothpastes -- remained intact.

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