Quantcast

Illinois Breaks Ground With Country's First Microbead Ban

Health + Wellness

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."

Illinois officials celebrate Gov. Quinn's signing of legislation to ban the manufacturing and sale of products containing microbeads. Photo credit: Illinois Environmental Council

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.”

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.

California's state assembly passed a ban earlier this year, but it has yet to make it out of the state senate. New York was the first state to propose a microbead ban, but it has yet to be approved.

——–

YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE

New York Sets Precedent By Proposing Nation’s First Microbead Ban

California Assembly Passes Historic Law to Remove Plastic Microbeads from Personal Care Products

DamNation Explores History of Dams and Brilliance of Rivers Reborn, Premieres at SXSW

——– 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Scanning electron micrograph of Yersinia pestis, which causes bubonic plague, on proventricular spines of a Xenopsylla cheopis flea. NIAID / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

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.

Read More Show Less
Milk made from almonds, oats and coconut are among the healthiest alternatives to cow's milk. triocean / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Greta Thunberg stands aboard the catamaran La Vagabonde as she sets sail to Europe in Hampton, Virginia, on Nov. 13. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP via Getty Images

Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist whose weekly school strikes have spurred global demonstrations, has cut short her tour of the Americas and set sail for Europe to attend COP25 in Madrid next month, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
The Lake Delhi Dam in Iowa failed in 2010. VCU Capital News Service / Josh deBerge / FEMA

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.

Read More Show Less

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.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

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.

Read More Show Less
People navigate snow-covered sidewalks in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on Nov. 11 in Chicago. Scott Olson / Getty Images

Temperatures plunged rapidly across the U.S. this week and around 70 percent of the population is expected to experience temperatures around freezing Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
A general view of the flooded St. Mark's Square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on Nov. 13 in Venice. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP / Getty Images

Two people have died as Venice has been inundated by the worst flooding it has seen in more than 50 years, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less