Democracy, by its very nature is often a slow beast. Arguement, counter-arguement, compromise and (you would hope, eventually) agreement. Which is why the passage of the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 in the USA has been slightly surprising. Introduced in March 2015, it was made law before Christmas! This is a tremendous victory for the all those who care about the environment we live in. Microbeads are tiny plastic particles that are used in cosmetic products as an exfoliant. Needless to say, billions of these particles pollute our waters everyday. The scientific literature is begining to balloon with studies documenting the impacts of these microbeads. From interacting with food-chains to releasing toxins in warm-blooded animals; microbeads are not one of our better inovations. Thankfully many companies have agreed to end the use of these plastics and consumers can choose not to buy products that contain them. However, it will take a considerable clean-up operation to remove the amount of plastic already moving through the Earth system.

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