NACWA Applauds Passage of Microbead-Free Waters Act

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The National Association of Clean Water Agencies applauds the House of Representatives' approval of H.R. 1321, the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015. This bipartisan bill, sponsored by Reps. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ), bans the manufacture of rinse-off cosmetics containing plastic microbeads by July 1, 2017, and bans the delivery of these products by July 1, 2018.

"We are pleased to see this legislation pass with strong bipartisan support as well as with the support of the personal care product industry to protect our critical water resources from products too small to be captured by the municipal wastewater treatment process," says Adam Krantz, NACWA CEO. "This is an important step toward increased collaboration among key stakeholder groups to improve our nation's water quality."

Plastic microbeads have become a topic of concern among clean-water advocates because they are difficult to remove during typical wastewater treatment processes and can therefore pass through treatment plants and into waterways, causing harm to aquatic life and ecosystems. Natural alternatives can easily be substituted for plastic microbeads in cleansing and exfoliating products, thereby eliminating microbead pollution at its source and protecting the environment.

NACWA has supported this legislation as part of its Toilets Are Not Trashcans campaign, which focuses on keeping inappropriate products and unnecessary additives out of sewer systems to protect water quality and the pipes, pumps, plants and personnel of the nation's wastewater utilities.

NACWA urges the Senate to take up this broadly supported legislation before this session of Congress adjourns and urges all senators to vote yes on H.R. 1321.

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies is the leading advocate for responsible national policies that advance clean water. NACWA represents the collective interests of America's clean water utilities nationwide – and their clear commitment to America's waters. For more than 40 years, NACWA has been the clean-water community's voice in Congress, at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies, as well as in the media and in the courts. To learn more visit


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