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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015

I’m pleased to report that President Barrack Obama signed a bill into law that will improve the health of our Great Lakes and Rivers by decreasing the plastic pollution. The Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, bans plastic microbeads in soaps, body washes and other bath products, starting in July 2017. Even the toothpaste you use has this stuff in it. I was surprised on how many people I personally knew, did not even know that these plastics were in these products and we all use them every day across America.

By banning microbeads this is great news for the Great Lakes' and our fisheries future. Much of the pollution in our waters is from plastics - be it microbeads or plastic water bottles. Because they are able to make it through the water filtration systems, they eventually wind up in our lakes and oceans, and are frequently mistaken by fish as food. This new law will decrease the presence of micro plastics in all of our lakes and rivers.
Another thing I want to point out is how many local clubs, organizations and individuals worked tirelessly to see this bill and others get passed. NOT just you’re elected officials! These folks helped bring this issue to light and cause awareness in our country.

People like my friend Matt Lubaway from the Metro West Steelheaders and the MUCC just to name a few. Matt is a warrior of our environment here in the Great Lakes and gets no recognition for his efforts. So here is a big thankyou to you Matt and everyone else for your hard work. The Great Lakes needs people like Matt, other clubs and organizations and they all deserve our support.

Several States like Wisconsin, New York, Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota had already made strides on their own, banning and phasing out microbeads, before this bill was passed. Many states were working together to get this passed.

Everyone should be very excited to see the improvements in our waters. Ultimately it will help our fisheries over time. Just think the fish will not have plastic beads in their stomach and digestive tracts anymore. Plastic in a fish’s body or food cannot be good, right?
I thought I would never say this about the current politicians in Washington, but I commend our members of Congress and President Obama for passing such a monumental bill.
If you want to do your part to help out, please support these clubs, organizations. Look for the words “polyethylene” or “polypropylene” on the labels . If you don’t see those ingredients on the products you buy than they should be microbead free.
Spread the word folks  and get involved. 

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