SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A proposal in the California State Assembly could mean changes to your favorite skin care products. The measure would ban “microbeads,” small pieces of plastic found in soaps and scrubs.
The beads are supposed to remove dead skin, but environmental groups said they are hazardous to wildlife.
Environmentalists say microbeads don’t break down and end up getting washed down the drain. The beads are then deposited into waterways, where fish mistake them for food.
“Sewage treatment can’t adequately capture them. So we’re literally putting trillions of plastic beads that look like fish eggs into the water, and introducing them into the food chain,” said Stiv Wilson of the 5 Gyres Institute.
The groups also said the beads can also soak up toxins like a sponge, making them even more of a threat.
The Assembly is set to vote on the microbead ban on Friday.