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Kirk joins Congress members to back bills to phase out plastic microbeads

DETROIT — Two Michigan lawmakers they and other members of Congress are sponsoring bipartisan legislation to protect the Great Lakes from the damaging effects of plastic microbeads found in some soaps and personal care products.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Rep. Gary Peters announced the measures Tuesday to by phase out microbeads in household products.

The Michigan Democrats say the small plastic beads aren’t biodegradable and can make it through wastewater treatment systems. They say fish can mistake the beads for food.

The lawmakers say that related bills in the U.S. Senate and House have bipartisan sponsorship. Backers include Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan and Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey.