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Japan’s Upper House has passed a bill intended to reduce microplastic emission, to lower ocean pollution. The bill prohibits the use of microproducts in goods, particularly personal care companies producing items such as skin care items, face washes and toothpaste.

Microplastics, which include chipped plastic waste and microbeads, are difficult to remove once they enter water. They tend to absorb harmful chemicals and accumulate inside fish, birds and other animals as they make their way up the food chain.

In the private sector, the Japan Cosmetic Industry Association urged its members in 2016 to restrict the use of microplastics.