Illinois Governor Quinn signs environmental bill banning microbe - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Illinois Governor Quinn signs environmental bill banning microbeads in personal care products

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Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois has signed legislation making the state the first in the nation to ban synthetic microbeads from beauty products. The non-biodegradable plastic microbeads can contaminate waterways and harm wildlife. The new ban will go into effect for the manufacturing of products starting at the end of 2017. The sale of personal care products with microbeads will be banned at the end of 2018.

"Banning microbeads will help ensure clean waters across Illinois and set an example for our nation to follow," Governor Pat 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."

The microbeads are often found on soaps and facial cleansers as an exfoliant. The goal of the law is to move manufacturers toward natural exfoliants that will not pollute waterways. The plastic particles end up in sewage systems and eventually rivers and lakes. The tiny particles are not filtered through the sewage treatment process.

"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,” State Senator Heather Steans, a co-sponsor of the bill, added. "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."

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) told FOX 28 that the department is not currently taking any steps on microbeads in the state of Indiana. IDEM was not aware of any pending legislation in the state of Indiana.

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