New law bands micro-beads – so try local alternatives

New law bands micro-beads – so try local alternatives

MARQUETTE — Do you use any soaps or bath products that use micro-beads? Well time to say bye-bye to those, thanks to a new U.S. law. It may be hard to say goodbye to what may be some of your favorite bath products, but experts say it’s better for the environment. ABC 10’s Sarah Mac has more on this new law and some possible local products that you could use instead.

If you are one of the many that use bath products with micro-beads, it’s time to find a new favorite.

According to a report from the New York Times lawmakers in Washington agreed unanimously to passing a bill, which was signed into law by December 28th, 2015, only weeks after it was introduced. To which some have asked, “how often does something like that happen?”

The Micro-bead Free Waters Act of 2015 defines micro-beads as “any solid plastic particle that is less than five millimeters in size and is intended to be used to exfoliate or cleanse the human body or any part thereof.”

The New York Times also reports that researchers say the problem with the beads is that they slip through wastewater treatment systems and into waterways, including the Great Lakes, and cause harm to the ecosystem.

Now that the law has been passed, you may be asking, “What can I use instead to exfoliate and cleanse my skin?” Well for that we turn to a local co-op to find some healthy and environmentally friendly alternatives.

Supervisor for the Wellness Center at the Marquette Food Co-op Rachel Bennett says, “There’s so many things from salt and sugar, to nuts and seeds, and fruit acids and stuff that are actually better for your skin”

The Marquette Food Co-Op sells several alternatives, some even locally made, that use natural, bio-degradable materials.

“We carry a couple of local soap suppliers that get kind of creative with what they use,” Bennett adds, “we have one that uses ground up luffa and coffee for their gardeners hand soap. This one has poppy seeds, this one she uses ground almonds, and so you’ll see, again some of the similarities between these. Any kind of little, natural, bio-degradable, hard little scratchy particle can be used.”

Bennett says you can do it at home, too, by adding salt or sugar to any face or body wash.

In accordance with the new law, companies must stop products with micro-beads by July 1st.