Canada Moves to Ban Microbeads in Personal Care Items
This month, Canada took steps toward banning the sale of personal hygiene products containing the small plastic pieces known as microbeads in order to protect wildlife and the environment.
Microbeads, typically found in products like facial scrubs, shower gels and more, already are banned in the U.S. In the U.S., production of items including microbeads will be illegal starting in July 2017. The sale of the items will be illegal in July 2018, and over-the-counter drugs containing them will be illegal by July 2019, according to Chemistry World.
In a set of regulations published on Nov. 4, the Canadian government wants to ban the sale of microbeads and toiletries beginning July 1, 2018, according to the Toledo Blade. In 2019, microbeads will be illegal in health products and over-the-counter drugs.
This move comes after the government reported finding microbeads in coastal areas in British Columbia, the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River and on the Atlantic coast.
"While they may not seem scary, these tiny plastic beads can have a devastating impact on fish, wildlife and humans," Kristy Meyer, managing director of natural resources for the Ohio Environmental Council, told the Toledo Blade.
The two worst places for microbead pollution are in areas around Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, due to the high population densities and the way the water flows down from the upper lakes.
Other countries in Europe, like the U.K., as well as Australia also are looking to phase out and ban microbeads in products, according to the Canadian government.
Also, Tesco, a popular store in the U.K., announced that it will phase out microbeads in its cosmetics and cleaning products within the next month, according to The Guardian.