CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to make Illinois the first state in the nation to ban the manufacture and sale of personal care products containing synthetic plastic microbeads. Today’s action is part of Governor Quinn’s commitment to protect our natural resources and ensure a clean and healthy environment for future generations.
“Banning microbeads will help ensure clean waters across Illinois and set an example for our nation to follow,” Governor Quinn said. “Lake Michigan and the many rivers and lakes across our state are among our most important natural resources. We must do everything necessary to safeguard them."
Senate Bill 2727, sponsored by State Senator Heather Steans and State Representative Jaime Andrade Jr., makes Illinois the first state to ban microbeads in personal care products. The new law will require synthetic microbeads to be removed from manufacturing by the end of 2018 and bans the sale of such items by the end of 2019 in Illinois.
“Lake Michigan is a critically important natural resource for our state, and its health affects recreation, tourism and the flourishing of aquatic plant and animal species,” Senator Steans said. “I’m proud that Illinois is an environmental leader, taking the first step away from plastic microbeads toward natural exfoliants, and I’m optimistic that we’ve started a nationwide movement to protect not just the Great Lakes, but other bodies of water with high concentrations of microbeads.”
"This legislation is a tremendous first step in protecting our precious natural resource, Lake Michigan, from plastic pollutants,” Representative Andrade said. “This bill would not have been possible without relentless support from our Governor, the business community, and the environmental groups that worked together for this legislation to pass both the Senate and the House unanimously."
“We are very pleased today to see Governor Quinn take action to make Illinois the first state in the nation to ban microbeads from personal care products,” Illinois Environmental Council Executive Director Jennifer Walling said. “It is great to see Illinois be first in the nation at protecting our Great Lakes from plastics pollution."
Governor Quinn has been a strong advocate for protecting Illinois' environment, including the 2012 launch of the Illinois Clean Water Initiative (ICWI). The ICWI has created thousands of jobs across Illinois and allows local governments to access low-interest loans for a variety of wastewater and drinking water projects.
The Governor also signed legislation to prevent landfills from being built or expanding in Cook County and has dedicated $10 million in state funding to improve water quality in Chicago area waterways.
Under the Governor’s leadership, the Illinois EPA proposed three new recreational uses for the Chicago Area Waterway System and the Lower Des Plaines River. These new use designations were approved by USEPA and will lead to disinfection of wastewater treatment plant effluent discharging to the primary contact waterway segments.
Since Fiscal Year 2011, thirty-six grants totaling almost $15 million, have been made available to local units of government and other organizations to demonstrate green infrastructure best management practices to control stormwater runoff for water quality protection in Illinois.
Governor Quinn has also forged partnerships with seven nations through the Sister Rivers and Sister Lakes program to share ideas about such challenges as agricultural run-off, invasive species and pollution while boosting tourism and eco-awareness.