New bill proposed in NYC would ban detergent pods due to microplastics

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, February 9, 2024
New bill proposed in NYC would ban detergent pods
The bill would make selling and distributing detergent pods and certain laundry sheets illegal because of microplastics.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Could detergent pods soon be illegal in New York City?

City Council Member James Gennaro (D) introduced a bill Thursday that would make selling or distributing detergent pods or laundry sheets with polyvinyl alcohol illegal.

Polyvinyl alcohol or PVA is a type of plastic and when it dissolves in water it becomes a microplastic and can pollute waterways.

Scientists have said microplastics have been found on glaciers and even in rain.

If passed, the law called the "Pods are Plastic Bill" would be the first of its kind in the United States.

Fines for selling or distributing the pods would start at $400 for the first offense and increase by $400 for every other offense.

A 2021 study found that 19,000 tons of PVA are used in detergent pods in the U.S. each year.

Of that, roughly 11,000 tons reach wastewater facilities where 75% of it is left untreated while passing through the regular water treatment process.

If approved, the law would go into effect in January 2026.

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Lucy Yang has the exclusive report.


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