Effort to Ban Microbeads in California Falls Short

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California legislation to ban microscopic beads in personal care products has fallen short of the needed votes.

The Sacramento Bee reports that AB 888 was two votes short Thursday of the 21 it needs to clear the state Senate.

The so-called microbeads are so small that they can pass through water filtration systems and are showing up in the bodies of fish and other wildlife.

Proponents of the ban say manufacturers can substitute natural alternatives like walnut shells in exfoliating creams and scrubs. Opponents fear the bill could ban replacements that also contain plastic.

AB 888 would impose the microbead ban in 2020.

A similar Assembly-approved bill also died in the Senate last year.

The bill could be brought up again before lawmakers adjourn for the year next week.