Illinois bans microbeads in soap

Bill co-sponsor: “I’m optimistic that we’ve started a nationwide movement" to ban microbeads.

By Matt Bradwell
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. UPI/Bill Greenblatt
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. UPI/Bill Greenblatt | License Photo

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., June 9 (UPI) -- The governor of Illinois has signed legislation banning the manufacture and sale of personal care products containing micro beads, citing environmental concerns.

"Banning microbeads will help ensure clean waters across Illinois and set an example for our nation to follow," Quinn told the Chicago Tribune. "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 non-biodegradable plastic spheres used as exfoliants in facial soaps often slip through the sewage filtration systems and accumulate in waterways where they absorb and release toxins and harm wildlife. Researches discovered millions of microbeads already amassing in Lake Michigan.

"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," said State Sen. Heather Steans, one of the bill's sponsors.

The law bans the manufacture of personal care products containing microbeads by the end 2017 and the sale of said products by the end of 2018. Over-the-counter products containing microbeads are also banned and will be off Illinois store shelves by 2019.


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