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Tokyo — A bill intended to reduce the volume of micro-plastics dumped into the ocean was approved by Japan’s parliament on Friday, but it included no sanctions for failure to comply. The measure, which received unanimous approval in the upper house, looks to encourage businesses to reduce their use of micro-plastics, including micro-beads — tiny plastic particles used in exfoliating creams and other cosmetic products. But the law contains no details of punishment for those who break it, raising questions over its impact. Micro-beads and chipped plastic waste from grocery bags and cups often end up in the world’s oceans, contributing to a build-up of plastic that is choking marine creatures and damaging the environment. The effect of micro-plastics on human health remains unclear, but scientists have expressed alarm over their presence in everything from bottled water to seafood. Last year, a team of researchers found some 40% of fish caught in a survey across Japan had micro-plastic...

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