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LEGISLATOR PATRICK BURKE INTRODUCES LAW TO BAN MICROBEAD PLASTICS, GAINS BI-PARTISAN SUPPORT


LEGISLATOR PATRICK BURKE INTRODUCES LOCAL LAW TO BAN MICROBEAD PLASTICS, GAINS BI-PARTISAN SUPPORT

Legislator Burke calls for immediate action to protect area waterways

Today, overlooking the waters of Lake Erie, Legislator Patrick B. Burke (D) announced his introduction of a Local Law to ban the sale of Cosmetic products in Erie County that contain Microbead plastics.  This bi-partisan Local Law was introduced with the sponsorship of Legislator John J. Mills (R) because a State level ban has languished in the State Senate under both Democratic and Republican leadership.

“With this local law we are placing Albany on notice, if the state won’t move swiftly to protect the Waterways of Erie County, then we will. My time on the board of the Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District has given me an appreciation for the value of our fresh water resources.  Studies show that the highest concentrations of microbeads are right here in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.  I believe it is now up to us to protect our waterways and move this microbead ban forward.” said Legislator Burke.

Speaking before the Energy and Environment Committee earlier this year, Chair Lynda Schneekloth of the Sierra Club testified, “As we have learned, ‘microbeads’ are tiny beads of plastic less than a millimeter thick that are often added to cosmetics as exfoliates, cleansing agents and even some toothpastes… The beads themselves are made of polyethylene or polystyrene and because of their size, can pass through filters in water treatment plants and enter the water system… Their small size resembles that of plankton, the organisms that make up the base of marine ecosystems.  Unknowingly devoured by filter feeders, the plastics migrate up the food chain, bioaccumulating in larger fish, birds and mammals… Despite their size, microbeads are having a huge impact on our waterways amounting to as much as 90% of the new plastic waste in the Great Lakes.”

This local law follows a long standing tradition in Erie County of leading the way on pollution control.  In 1971 Erie County was the first County in the nation to ban the use of phosphorous in detergents.  Erie County’s leadership on phosphorus eventually lead to a State and Federal ban.

Link to Microbead Local Law


A list of some products containing microbeads


 Download the Beat the Microbead app here!


 

Click link to sign petition asking our elected officials to protect our waters