In surprising truce, antagonists agree to ban plastic 'microbeads' pouring into Great Lakes

June 18, 2014 6:19 PM

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In surprising truce, antagonists agree to ban plastic 'microbeads' pouring into Great Lakes

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan — Environmentalists in Illinois expected a battle royal over their call for a statewide ban on "microbeads" — tiny bits of plastic used in personal care products such as facial scrubs and toothpaste that are flowing by the billions into the Great Lakes and other waterways. Discovered only recently, they're showing up inside fish that are caught for human consumption, scientists say.

But instead of resisting, leading companies quickly collaborated on a ban that was enacted by the state legislature this spring. And with similar measures now pending in at least three other large states and in Congress, the extinction of microbeads is taking shape as one of the unlikeliest events i...

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