TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Environmentalists and business groups are finding surprising common ground in a campaign to get rid of tiny plastic bits that are polluting the Great Lakes and other waters and being eaten by fish.
The Illinois legislature recently voted to phase out plastic “microbeads” used in many cosmetics and other products such as toothpaste. Similar measures are pending in New York, California and Ohio.
Instead of the usual industry-versus-environmentalists battle, both sides in Illinois agreed the microbeads need to go and negotiated a timetable.
Disagreements remain in the other states. But leading manufacturers of personal care products say they’re willing to phase out microbeads in favor of natural abrasives such as salt and ground-up fruit pits.