The New Jersey General Assembly has unanimously approved legislation (A-3083) that would prohibit the manufacture, sale or promotion of cosmetic products containing microbeads. Companion legislation is pending before the state senate. The production and manufacturing prohibition would take effect January 1, 2015; the sales and promotion prohibition would take effect three years later. Those who violate the law would be subject to a penalty of not less than $1,000 and not more than $10,000 for each offense. The state’s Department of Environmental Protection would have the authority to seek injunctive relief under the law.
Bill sponsor Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex) said, “I applaud the companies who have recognized the ill effects that polyethylene microspheres have on the environment and stand with us as we take steps to curb its use. By banning these products, we are preserving New Jersey’s environmental heritage and protecting marine life.” Co-sponsor Paul Moriarty (D-Camden and Gloucester) said, “New Jersey’s marine life and fishing industry need our protection now. There are plenty of other ecologically friendly ingredients that can replace microbeads without endangering our ecosystem.” See Assembly Democrats News Release, September 29, 2014.