Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Illinois Breaks Ground With Country's First Microbead Ban

Health + Wellness
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."

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

——– 

Plastic pollution lines a Singapore beach. Vaidehi Shah/ CC BY 2.0

By Tara Lohan

Our plastic pollution problem has reached new heights and new depths.

Scientists have found bits of plastic on the seafloor, thousands of feet below the ocean's surface. Plastic debris has also washed ashore on remote islands; traveled to the top of pristine mountains; and been found inside the bodies of whales, turtles, seabirds and people, too.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A large loggerhead with other injuries washed ashore during the latest cold-stunning event and was treated at New England Aquarium. New England Aquarium

Hundreds of endangered sea turtles were stranded on beaches after suffering "cold stunning" in the waters off Cape Cod, Mass. Local rescuers and wildlife rehabilitators stabilized the turtles at the New England Aquarium (NEAQ) and National Marine Life Center and began treatment. Many of the sea turtles were transported by land or air to partner facilities around the Eastern Seaboard for longer-term care to make room for more incoming, cold-stunned animals.

Read More Show Less

Trending

On Dec. 21, Jupiter and Saturn will be so closely aligned that they will appear as a "double planet." NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory / YouTube

The night sky has a special treat in store for stargazers this winter solstice.

Read More Show Less
Rough handling can result in birds becoming injured before slaughter. Courtesy of Mercy for Animals

By Dena Jones

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was sued three times this past summer for shirking its responsibility to protect birds from egregious welfare violations and safeguard workers at slaughterhouses from injuries and the spread of the coronavirus.

Read More Show Less
A view of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge during Arctic Bird Fest on June 25, 2019. Lisa Hupp / USFWS

By Julia Conley

Conservation campaigners on Thursday accused President Donald Trump of taking a "wrecking ball" to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as the White House announced plans to move ahead with the sale of drilling leases in the 19 million-acre coastal preserve, despite widespread, bipartisan opposition to oil and gas extraction there.

Read More Show Less