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Round 2: 5 Gyres Introduces Legislation With CA’s Assemblyman Richard Bloom To Ban Plastic Microbeads

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My my what a busy week. As we reported earlier this week, 5 Gyres announced legislation to ban personal care products containing plastic microbeads in New York. Strategically, it was our goal to get several states to introduce our legislation concurrently, and we’re pleased to announce that this legislation will be introduced on the Left Coast, as well.  Please see the article in the LA Times.  Our strategy is twofold: one, introduce legislation so producers know that the environmental community is serious about this issue, and though we applaud the pledges by some companies to voluntarily phase these beads out, we’re not satisfied with the timelines for phase out proposed–especially when they’ve become a moving target.  The second stratagem is to introduce in multiple states, win them, and thereby create a distribution nightmare for producers who haven’t pledged to phase-out.  New York and California are huge markets, and passing legislation in these states should prompt manufacturers to phase-out lickety-split because they can’t possibly sell one branded product with beads in one state, and one without, in another.

The success this week for 5 Gyres is two years in the making and is the result of our whole team’s effort.  It started with discovery and lead to a peer reviewed paper on microbeads in our watersheds. Then we moved to education and a corporate facing campaign, placing media to bolster our case (See the great piece on Marcus a few weeks ago). So far, it’s working, and it’s getting national attention. Anna, our Executive Director was featured on NPR’s Marketplace last night, talking about the issue and why we’re concerned.

Now it’s time to hit the ground running. We’ve got a long way to go. But make no mistake, 5 Gyres goal with our campaign is a result nothing short of eliminating this dust sized plastic from commerce entirely.

I remember reading the book, “The World Without Us”, about 5 Gyres friend and colleague, the scientist Mark Browne as he read the ingredients of personal care products containing these beads in a local store.  He was freaking out about what havoc they may be wreaking on our environment. That was five years ago. Today, 5 Gyres is leading the way to stop this flow of insidious plastic into our shared waters.  But we will need your help. Please share our articles, education pieces, and get involved. There will be numerous action items in the coming weeks and months as we work to pass these bills. Start today by sharing this blog with your friends and family, and hey, remember, 5 Gyres is a small organization and we rely on your support to get the job done. Consider supporting this campaign with a donation of any size today.

Thank You 5 Gyres Community, you’re why we do it.

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