National Microbead Legislation has been passed in the United States

As we have discussed in past blogs, various states have passed bans on microbeads in personal care product. However, no coordinated national legislation existed until December 28, 2015, when President Obama signed HR1321 (the "Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015") into law. This act amends Section 301 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act with the addition of language addressing "manufacture and introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of rinse-off cosmetics containing intentionally-added plastic materials." Per this act, the manufacture and sale of the rinse-off cosmetics are to be phased out by July 1, 2017, and by July 1, 2018, respectively. Regarding rinse-off cosmetics that are also non-prescription drugs, the phase out dates for manufacture and sales are July 1, 2018, and July 1, 2019, respectively. As such, consumers are unlikely to see an immediate removal of all microbead products from shelves; and companies are provided time to evaluate their product formulations and substitution options. This act preempts the various state laws which have been proposed or passed in locations such as New York, New Jersey, and Illinois.