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Indiana House backs ban on plastic beads polluting lakes

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – A bill banning tiny plastic particles that are often included in soaps and cosmetic products has been approved by the Indiana House.

House members voted 97-0 Tuesday to prohibit the bits of plastic known as microbeads, which are often too small to see with the naked eye.

Scientists blame the particles for about 20 percent of the plastic pollution in the Great Lakes.

The bill would gradually phase out the sale and production of cosmetics containing microbeads starting in 2017. New York and Illinois already have bans in place.

Bill sponsor Rep. Patrick Bauer of South Bend says large manufacturers have already started substituting microbeads with natural substances such as ground-up fruit pits, oatmeal and sea salt.

The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.