WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) applauded Senate passage of the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, legislation that would place a federal ban on polyethylene and polypropylene microbeads that are typically found in personal care products and are proven to harm aquatic life, water quality, and public health. Murphy, a cosponsor of the bill, called on the Senate to act after the House passed similar legislation earlier this month. The bill is on its way to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law.
“I’m thrilled the Senate finally passed this bill. Each day, an estimated eight trillion tiny plastic microbeads enter the country’s waterways, threaten the quality of the water, aquatic life, and even our food chain and public health. For much of Connecticut, that means they end up in the Long Island Sound, which critical to Connecticut’s economy and our way of life,” said Murphy. “As I said before, this is a national problem that Connecticut can’t solve alone. I cannot help but feel deep regret that Terry Backer, a close friend and mentor, isn’t around to celebrate this victory. I wouldn’t have fought for this issue so hard without his fierce advocacy in Connecticut, and he deserves credit for the state ban and for raising awareness of this across the country. Today is a day to be proud of.”
In response to a Southern Connecticut State University study that revealed that plastic microbeads are polluting the Long Island Sound, Murphy called on retailers earlier this year to discontinue the sale of products containing the harmful plastic microbeads. This year, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a law banning the sale of microbeads by 2019.