Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, October 8, 2015

Contact: Miyoko Sakashita, (510) 844-7108,

Brown Signs Historic Legislation Banning Polluting Plastic Microbeads
From Beauty Products in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— California Gov. Jerry Brown today signed into law Assembly Bill 888, phasing out the use of plastic microbeads in beauty products by 2020. Importantly, the new law closes a loophole in microbead bans passed in other states, including Indiana and New Jersey, allowing companies to replace traditional plastic microbeads with more plastic. The California ban is the strongest legislation in the country and will set the standard for the industry.

“Our oceans are choking on plastic, so it’s great to see the California Legislature eliminating this pointless and harmful source of plastic pollution,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans program director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Once again, California has set the national standard for policies protecting our precious natural resources."

AB 888, which will prevent 38 tons of plastic from entering California’s waterways each year, was authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom and supported by a coalition of leading environmental groups and clean water agencies.

Plastic microbeads — designed to be washed down the drain and too small to be reliably captured by wastewater treatment facilities — pollute lakes, rivers and oceans by the millions. Once in the environment, plastic microbeads concentrate toxins such as pesticides and flame retardants on their surface, which may then transfer to the tissue of fish that mistake microbeads for food. One tube of exfoliating facewash can contain more than 350,000 microbeads.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 900,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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