The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Illinois Breaks Ground With Country's First Microbead Ban
Other states have discussed it, but Illinois is the first to put action behind words.
This week, the state became the nation's first to enact a ban on microbeads, the small plastic particles found in beauty and cosmetic products. Gov. Pat Quinn's legislative signing bans the manufacturing or sale of products that contain the beads. Companies add microbeads to facial scrubs, cleansers and other products to help in skin exfoliation, but they can last in waterways for centuries, accumulating toxic chemicals on their surfaces while threatening public health and wildlife.
“Banning microbeads will help ensure clean waters across Illinois and set an example for our nation to follow,” 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."
As with most laws, the impact won't be felt immediately. The Illinois passage requires manufacturers to remove synthetic microbeads from their process by the end of 2018, while sales will be illegal in 2019. Still, groups who make protecting water and the environment were pleased with Quinn and the legislature.
“Congratulations to Gov. Quinn for signing SB 2727. Illinois is the first state in the nation to enact a law banning microbeads and we are grateful to Governor Quinn for signing this legislation so quickly,” Jennifer Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, said in a statement. “It is great to see Illinois leading the way on laws that will help reduce plastic pollution in our Great Lakes.”
— Chelsea Rochman (@ChelseaRochman) June 9, 2014
The 5 Gyres Institute has been instrumental in bringing microbead awareness to the forefront. Last year, a group of researchers released a study based on a survey of the Great Lakes region, where "we found high concentrations of micro-plastics, more than most ocean samples collected worldwide,” 5 Gyres co-director Marcus Eriksen said.
L’Oreal, The Body Shop, Colgate-Palmolive, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble are among the companies who have already agreed to phase out the use of microbeads.
YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A middle-aged married couple in China was diagnosed with pneumonic plague, a highly infectious disease similar to bubonic plague, which ravaged Europe in the middle ages, as CNN reported.
Dairy aisles have exploded with milk and milk alternative options over the past few years, and choosing the healthiest milk isn't just about the fat content.
Whether you're looking beyond cow's milk for health reasons or dietary preferences or simply want to experiment with different options, you may wonder which type of milk is healthiest for you.
At least 1,688 dams across the U.S. are in such a hazardous condition that, if they fail, could force life-threatening floods on nearby homes, businesses, infrastructure or entire communities, according to an in-depth analysis of public records conducted by the the Associated Press.
By Sabrina Kessler
Far-reaching allegations about how a climate-sinning American multinational could shamelessly lie to the public about its wrongdoing mobilized a small group of New York students on a cold November morning. They stood in front of New York's Supreme Court last week to follow the unprecedented lawsuit against ExxonMobil.
By Alex Robinson
Leah Garcés used to hate poultry farmers.
The animal rights activist, who opposes factory farming, had an adversarial relationship with chicken farmers until around five years ago, when she sat down to listen to one. She met a poultry farmer called Craig Watts in rural North Carolina and learned that the problems stemming from factory farming extended beyond animal cruelty.
Temperatures plunged rapidly across the U.S. this week and around 70 percent of the population is expected to experience temperatures around freezing Wednesday.