The use of microbeads in personal cosmetic products that pollute lakes, rivers and oceans has been officially banned by US President Barack Obama.
The law, called the‘Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015’, was approved by the House of Representatives earlier this month.
Microbeads, which are tiny plastic beads, are regularly used in personal care products such as skin exfoliators and toothpastes.
The law will phase microbeads out of consumer products over the next few years.
From July 2017, the manufacture of the plastics will be banned, followed by product-specific manufacturing and sales bans in the following years.
The act defines microbeads as “any solid plastic particle” smaller than 5 millimetres in size, and closes a potential loophole that could have allowed manufacturers to switch to a different type of plastic.