Ban on microbeads made official

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A bill banning microbeads became law Wednesday when Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz inked his signature next to Lake Erie.

The signing of the bill comes after an unanimous vote in the Erie County Legislature to put the bill on to Poloncarz. Now local stores will have to start pulling items containing the small plastic beads from their shelves.

Although many say the ban will be good for the environment, keeping millions of tiny, unfilterable beads out of Lake Erie, some stores are concerned about the economic impact. Poloncarz said his main concern is for the environment, though, and he didn’t think twice about the decision to sign the bill.

“I can tell you that as County Executive, I will never wait to put in place a law that better protects our people and our environment,” Poloncarz said. “That is what we’re doing today. The evidence of the effect microbeads have on our environment is growing and cannot be ignored any longer.”

Stores will now have six months to pull products down from their shelves, otherwise they could face fines. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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