CHICAGO – Gov. 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," 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 Sen. Heather Steans and state Rep. 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," 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."
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.
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, 36 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 in Illinois.