AUGUSTA — A bill banning synthetic microbeads in personal care products has become law without Gov. Paul LePage’s signature.

Republican Sen. Tom Saviello’s proposal went into law this week after LePage took no action on the bill.

Microbeads are non-biodegradable plastic particles used in facial cleansers and toothpaste. They will have to be phased out of most products over three years. The law will go into full effect in 2019.

Illinois was the first state to pass a microbead ban law last year. Governors in Colorado and New Jersey signed similar bills this month.

Maine manufacturing groups say many companies have already begun to remove microbeads from their products. The tiny plastic particles are too small to be caught in filtration systems and pollute lakes and rivers.

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