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Source: WBFO Buffalo

Erie County moves to ban plastic microbeads


Posted: July 22, 2015
Originally Published: July 21, 2015

Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic often found in personal care products. They pass through most sewer treatment plants, polluting waterways.

Erie County wants to ban them and that ban was the subject of a County Legislature public hearing yesterday.

"Erie County's proposed local law is arguably the strongest in the nation, by simply banning all plastic microbeads and doing so in a timely manner," said Brian Smith, associate executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

"When passed, Erie County's local law will raise the bar nationally and will begin to push the market toward safe, affordable and readily available alternatives that are really already on the market."

A study from State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office says 19-tons a year of the tiny pieces of plastic are dumped into New York State's sewers, with 1,700 pounds of that in Erie County.

No one appeared at the hearing to support keeping the beads.