© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
WBFO brings you live coverage of the Republican National Convention tonight from 10pm-11pm, and Wednesday & Thursday from 9pm-11pm.

Proposed law would ban products containing plastic microbeads

Chris Caya/WBFO news

Cosmetics and other products that end up polluting local waterways could soon be banned from store shelves in Erie County.

More than 100 personal care products, including facial scrubs and toothpaste, contain tiny pieces of plastic known as microbeads. They're hardly visible as they slip through most wastewater treatment plants.  

"Nearly 90 percent of new plastic pollutants in Lake Erie are from microbeads," said Erie County Legislator Patrick Burke on Wednesday.

Burke says the State Senate has failed to act more than a year after the Attorney General issued a report on the dangers posed by the plastic, which is likely being consumed by fish and wildlife and making it way up the food chain.

Burke, a South Buffalo Democrat, is now proposing a local ban on products containing microbeads. He says it has bipartisan support, including that of Legislature Chairman John Mills.

"We're putting the state on notice to act swiftly if they can but we are not slowing down with this piece of legislation and we're going to move it through as quickly as possible," he said  

Burke says a public hearing on the ban could be held in the coming weeks.

Click here for a list of products containing microbeads.