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House Passes Bill to Ban Plastic Microbeads in Maine

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Democratic-controlled Maine House has given final approval to a bill that would ban the sale of synthetic plastic microbeads in personal care products.

The House voted 145-1 on Tuesday to send the bill to the Senate.

Microbeads are non-biodegradable plastic particles that are used as exfoliants in facial cleansers and soaps. Environmentalists say they get through sewage filters and build up in waterways, where they can be ingested by wildlife and get into drinking water.

Democratic Rep. Joan Welsh's bill would be phased in over three years and would be fully implemented by 2019.

Welsh says in a statement that Mainers have the right to expect that their food and drinks doesn't contain "toxic plastics."