Federal Ban on Microbeads Signed Into Law!

A federal ban phasing out the manufacture and sale of products containing plastic microbeads has been signed into law by President Obama!

Published December 30, 2015

microbeads

Effective in 2017, this federal measure will help to curb the amount of microplastics making their way to our lakes, streams and oceans, where they’re ingested by unassuming wildlife.

What are microbeads?

Microbeads are the tiny plastic beads most commonly found in personal care products such as body wash, soap, facial scrub and toothpaste. They are listed on labels as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate or polymethyl methacrylate. 

Producers often use microbeads in their products because they are cheaper than natural alternatives; however, these plastics beads are generally less effective, causing consumers to have to repurchase more often.

How can I help?

  • Choose products with natural exfoliators like sugar, salt or jojoba.

  • Support companies that have already started to remove microbeads from their product lines! For a list of microbead-free products, click here.

In a coordinated effort with Monterey Bay Aquarium, Shedd Aquarium and other leading aquariums across the nation, the National Aquarium recently sent a letter to President Obama in support of his signature on this piece of legislation. Jointly, aquariums represent millions of members of visitors who care about this issue and support action to protect our ocean from the negative impacts of plastic pollution. 

To learn more about the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, click here.

Previous Post

Featured Stories

Edwin Hubble and George Washington Carver Animal Rescue Update: Double Seal Release!

For the first time in its history, National Aquarium Animal Rescue simultaneously released two rehabilitated seals. The two male greys, nicknamed Edwin Hubble and George Washington Carver, were released in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 23.

Read the full story

Turtle release Rescue to Release, Part 4: Release

For every rescue sea turtle that’s undergoing rehabilitation at the National Aquarium, there’s always the same end goal: release.

Read the full story

Related Stories

Recognizing Endangered Species Day

Published May 17, 2019

City Nature Challenge 2019 Recap

Published May 14, 2019