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Is Canada's Newest Environmental Regulation Something The US At Large Would Go For?

It's time to wash your face with something else.

By Kate Drozynski

Canadians are going to have to find a new way to exfoliate soon. The Canadian government announced last week that it will be developing regulations to ban the tiny, polymer microbeads found in facial cleansers, toothpastes and other personal care products.

The itty bitty beads, smaller than 5 millimeters, don’t dissolve when they’re swept down the drain with the remnants of yesterday’s mascara. They rush through the plumbing, slip through filtration systems in water treatment plants and can end up in our lakes and rivers as plastic litter.

“Banning mircobeads from personal care products will help us to continue protecting the environment for present and future generations,” said Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women. “We will continue to take action to keep Canada’s lakes and rivers clean, and put the priorities of Canadians first.”

Canada joins six U.S. states -- Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana and Maryland -- that have already banned the beads because of their detrimental impact on the environment.

According to the report, the Government of Canada has “invested more than $219 million to support water-quality initiatives for the Great Lakes” since 2006.

So keep Canada beautiful. Those majestic moose and equally majestic hockey players will thank you.

And who knows! Maybe we'll see the other 44 states adopt similar policies.