WASHINGTON (December 18, 2015) – The Senate voiced its support for cleaner waterways and healthy wildlife by passing the Microbeads-Free Waters Act. The legislation, led by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in the Senate and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) in the House, bans the use of tiny plastic particles from use in certain personal care products that are harming aquatic wildlife and polluting waterways. The vote follows passage by the House of Representatives earlier this month. The bill will now go to the President for signature.

The following statement was released by John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs:

“I thank Senator Gillibrand for her leadership on the Microbeads-Free Waters Act, which is a major step toward cleaner waterways and healthier aquatic ecosystems.

“Microbeads are highly toxic to the natural environment and the wildlife that live there. A ban on the use of microbeads in personal care products makes perfect sense because natural alternatives already exist. The cosmetics and personal care industry can be a crucial partner in this effort.

“In New York State alone, 19 tons of microbeads are washed down the drain every year. They collect pollutants such as DDT and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and then become part of the food chain when fish mistake them for food.

“Sen. Gillibrand, along with Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Fred Upton (R-MI), recognized that this is a common sense solution to a growing problem. Through concerted efforts to ban microbeads on the local, state and federal levels, we can protect our aquatic wildlife and wild places and decrease pollution in our waters.”



WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: newsroom.wcs.org Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.