Barbara Russo: 718-265-3428; 917-494-5493;

John Delaney:  718-220-3275; 

WCS Testifies in Favor of Ban on the Sale of Microbead Products in NYC

The support of microbead legislation is part of the Blue York campaign based out of WCS’s New York Aquarium

“New York City has the opportunity to take a strong, uncompromising stand to ban the sale of products containing microbeads.”

WCS Newsroom:



Brooklyn, N.Y. – Oct. 26, 2015 – The following is an excerpt of the testimony to be given today in favor of Int. 928, which would ban the sale of microbead products in New York City. The testimony will be presented by Nicole Robinson-Etienne, WCS Assistant Director of Government and Community Affairs, before the New York City Council Committee on Consumer Affairs. Microbeads are plastic particles found in some personal care and cosmetic products. They are too tiny to be filtered through sewage treatment plants so they find their way into lakes, rivers, streams, and the ocean, harming aquatic wildlife and habitat. The passing of a city-wide ban on the sale of microbead products would be an important step in raising nationwide awareness about this issue.

“Plastic microbeads are an ingredient that in recent years have been added to a variety of cosmetics and personal care products for their abrasive and aesthetic properties in products like face wash and toothpaste.  Microbeads are small bits of plastic, often measuring at a millimeter or smaller, that are used and then washed down the drain.  Many wastewater treatment plants are not designed to filter out particles this small, thus the microbeads make it through the treatment plants and into waterways.

“Scientists have discovered high levels of microbeads in waterways throughout New York and the country, which means trouble for wildlife and humans.  In New York State alone, 19 tons of microbeads are washed down the drain every year. 

“We know that many large companies such as Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, and L’Oreal have already or are beginning to phase out the use of microbeads in their products.  A strong ban is still necessary to make sure microbead-laden products are completely off the shelves and that there are no loopholes that will still allow for microbeads to enter New York’s waters. 

“Through Int. 928, New York City has the opportunity to take a strong, uncompromising stand to ban the sale of products containing microbeads.  We have circulated a sign-on letter to the entire City Council representing support for this bill that includes signatories from 28 environmental and conservation groups.  Please keep the bill strong so we can set a precedent in New York City that can be emulated in Albany and across the country.”

WCS works to protect local marine conservation through its NY Seascape program and the new Blue York campaign, headquartered out of the New York Aquarium.

To learn more about microbeads, click on the link below:

Wildlife Conservation Society's New York Aquarium is open every day of the year. Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Fall/winter/spring hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily. Tickets are $11.95 per person (ages 3 & up), and include Aquarium admission plus one admission to the new 4-D Theater; children age 2 and under are admitted free. Fridays after 4 p.m. in the summer and after 3 p.m. in the fall, Aquarium admission is by pay-what-you-wish donation.  The aquarium is located on Surf Avenue at West 8th Street in Coney Island.  The New York Aquarium is located on property owned by the City of New York, and its operation is made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. For directions, information on public events and programs, and other aquarium information, call 718-265-FISH or visit our web site at Now is the perfect time to visit and show support for the WCS New York Aquarium, a beloved part of Brooklyn and all of the City of New York. Due to Hurricane Sandy we are partially opened. Check our website for more information.

WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.

Special Note to the Media: If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a Web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to