New York State is poised to be the first in the country to ban microbeads, those tiny plastic pebbles found in facial scrubs, balms, and gels, that contaminate our water supply and end up in the Great Lakes.

Every time we wash these products down the drain, we're committing the environmental equivalent of spilling BBs on Mother Nature's carpet. The orbs—which have replaced nut particles and sea salts as a cheaper type of abrasive—slip through sewage treatment plants and into our water supply and ecosystems.

"We found more small plastic pieces in the Great Lakes than in the ocean garbage patches, and the majority were microbeads," Dr. Marcus Eriksen, the lead author on the first paper to survey plastic pollution in the Great Lakes, says in a release.

More than 600 species of animals are also negatively impacted by the beads, which leech chemicals when they're exposed to sunlight and constant friction caused by waves. "Many waterbirds mistake plastics for food—or are susceptible to bioaccumulation of plastic in the fish they eat—with detrimental effect, including decreased food-absorption and starvation," says Erin Crotty, the vice president of the National Audubon Society.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is spearheading the ban, and Long Island state assemblyman Robert Sweeney is proposing the legislation today.

The cosmetic industry has begun to move away from using microbeads: Unilever promised to rid their products of them by 2015, while Proctor & Gamble will phase them out by 2017. Sweeney's ban would take effect one year after it becomes law.

Governor Cuomo has had a contentious relationship with Schneiderman, reportedly mocking his attorney general for his appearance. We've reached out to Cuomo's office to see if he supports the measure and will update if they respond.