Senate panel passes ban on plastic beads polluting lakes

In this July 28, 2014 photo provided by Rachel Ricotta are microfibers, exceedingly fine plastic fibers, that were taken from inside the body of a Great Lakes fish. Scientists who have reported that the Great Lakes are awash in tiny bits of plastic are raising new alarms about a little-noticed form of the debris turning up in sampling nets: synthetic fibers from garments, cleaning cloths and other consumer products. (AP Photo/Rachel Ricotta)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana Senate committee unanimously passed a bill that would ban the sale and manufacture of popular toiletries and cosmetics containing tiny plastic particles that environmentalists say are polluting water resources.

The particles known as microbeads are typically found in facial scrubs and toothpastes. Scientists recently found that anywhere from 1,500 to 1.1 million microbeads per square mile can be found in Great Lakes and they are showing up in fish caught for human consumption.

Senate Commerce and Technology Committee members voted 6-0 Thursday to advance the measure that would gradually phase out the sale and production of cosmetics with microbeads. The House unanimously passed the legislation last month.

There has been little opposition to the bill since large manufacturers have already started substituting microbeads with organic materials.


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