Ban on exfoliating "microbeads" clears California Assembly, heads to state Senate

May 22, 2015 1:34 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - One of the nation's toughest bans on plastic exfoliating beads in cosmetics has cleared the California Assembly.

It's the second attempt at prohibiting the sale of soap, toothpaste and other products with tiny "microbeads" that make their way into waterways and animals' stomachs. Similar legislation stalled last year over industry opposition.

AB888 by Democratic Assemblyman Richard Bloom of Santa Monica would ban the products starting in 2020. Several manufacturers are already phasing out the exfoliating ingredients for natural alternatives.

Illinois has a similar ban, but unlike that state, the California proposal wouldn't make an exception for beads made with biodegradable plastic. Supporters of AB888 say those beads still pose environmental dangers.

AB888 passed the Assembly Friday on a 58 to 11 vote and now goes to the Senate.

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