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  • News
  • March 09, 2015

MPP Lalonde Introduces Legislation to Phase out Microbeads

Keeping our Health and Environment a Priority

Today, Marie-France Lalonde, MPP for Ottawa-Orléans introduced a bill to enact the Microbead Elimination and Monitoring Act, 2015. This Private Members Bill serves to ensure industry and individuals in the province are mindful of the use of synthetic plastic microbeads in largely cosmetic products. It is time that we phase out microbeads and begin identifying alternatives.

The Microbead Elimination and Monitoring Act calls for:


  • The prohibition of the manufacture of microbeads and the addition of microbeads to cosmetics, soaps or similar products.


  • The Minister to ensure water samples from the Great Lakes are analyzed for the presence of microbeads and include these results in the next annual drinking water report.

This bill complements other Ontario and Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Initiatives such as the Great Lakes Protection Act in order to protect the safety of all Ontarians, our wildlife and our natural environment for generations to come.



“The issue of the impact of microbeads is one that was brought to me by constituents soon after my election. This legislation is important in order to protect our drinking water, our health, marine diversity, and more. Considering other countries, other Great Lakes States, and many manufacturers have already committed to phasing out the use of microbeads, I believe it is time for Ontario to be the first province in Canada to take action.

-MPP Marie-France Lalonde, MPP, Ottawa-Orléans


“Several U.S. states and parts of Europe are already taking action to get these harmful tiny pieces of plastic out of products. It’s time that governments on this side of the border follow suit, ban the beads and set clear deadlines for eliminating them.” 

-Nancy Goucher, Water Program Manager with Environmental Defence.


"The release of microbeads from the use of personal care products to the aquatic environment, particularly as seen in our Great Lakes, is extensive but completely preventable. The proposed member's bill makes sense. Our wastewater treatment systems are ill equipped to address these substances.  The bill creates manufacturers' accountability for their products and will prevent the further release of microbeads to the environment." 

- Theresa A. McClenaghan, Executive Director, Canadian Environmental Law Association


"Microbeads are appearing all over the Great Lakes, destroying habitat, fish, and wildlife. They needlessly contaminate our food and water supply. The way government, business, volunteer organizations, and individuals respond to the microbeads crisis will send a signal. It will tell the world and future generations just how much we value our freshwater heritage,"

-Mark Mattson, environmental lawyer and president of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.


“As a Mayor of a Great Lakes city, I’m very excited to hear that MPP Marie-France Lalonde is going to introduce a Private Members Bill addressing microbeads. It is exciting that Ontario is moving forward and tackling this issue.”

-Mayor Keith Hobbs, Thunder Bay, former Chair of the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Cities Alliance.


“Microbeads are a serious concern to the Great Lakes. The more that can be done now will help us in the future. We are happy to hear that MPP Lalonde is introducing a Private Members Bill eliminating this risk from the Great Lakes”

-David UIrich, Executive Director of the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Cities Alliance


“Our day-to-day activities and choices impact the health and sustainability of the bodies of water which we and other beings depend on for our drinking water, livelihoods and social well-being.  I support this bill that aims to empower individuals to be conscious of their decisions and look forward to working with the government to phase out microbeads to improve the quality of our water.  ”

-Meredith Brown, Riverkeeper and Executive Director of Ottawa Riverkeeper


“We are encouraged by MPP Lalonde’s commitment to ensuring our waters are fishable and drinkable for generations to come. The Microbeads Elimination and Monitoring Act is a positive step towards empowering individuals and government to work together to phase out the use of microbeads. It’s vital that we work to reduce water pollution, protect our fish and wildlife and ensure water safety for Ontarians”

-Graham Saul, Executive Director, Ecology Ottawa


“As the volunteer group that works to keep the Petrie Island safe, enjoyable and environmentally sound for all, this proposed legislation is important to us. It aims to protect our local natural asset for generations to come, and ensure the safety of the communities surrounding it. We hope that it gains the support necessary to prevent the yet unknown impact microbeads will have on us. ”

-Al Tweddle, Chair of the Friends of Petrie Island



  • Plastic is the most common form of marine pollution, making up an estimated 60-80% of total ocean debris. 
  • Microplastics(including microbeads) are particles smaller than 1 mm in diameter that are found in waterbodies all over the world.
  • Many of the particles are polyethylene or polypropylene microbeads added to consumer products to help exfoliate skin or clean teeth.
  • These microbeads are eaten by fish and attach to other organisms, which are toxins to them, and eventually for us.
  • In June 2014, Illinois became the first jurisdiction in the world to ban microbeads from personal care products.
  • Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Ohio (all Great Lakes states) are working to ban the use of microbeads.
  • Manufacturers such as Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive and Procter & Gamble have promised to cut microbeads from their products in the next few years.



Contact: Bismah Haq

MPP Lalonde’s Office


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