Illinois Becomes First State to Ban Microbeads




Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation outlawing the manufacture and sale of personal care products containing synthetic plastic microbeads. “Banning microbeads will help ensure clean waters across Illinois and set an example for our nation to follow,” says Quinn.

The new law halts the manufacture of personal care products containing microbeads by the end of 2017, the sale of personal care products and the manufacture of over-the-counter drugs by the end of 2018, and the sale of over-the-counter drugs by the end of 2019. At least four other states are considering similar bills.

Preliminary studies in the Great Lakes have found millions of microbeads per square kilometer. The non-biodegradable plastic particles that are used as exfoliants in many facial cleansers and soaps make their way through sewage systems and accumulate in waterways. Once in the water, microbeads, like other plastics, can absorb persistent toxic chemicals and are than mistaken for food by fish and wildlife of all sizes, raising serious concerns about their impact on a variety of species up the food chain.

Unilever has announced plans to complete its phaseout of microbeads globally by 2015. Proctor & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, The Body Shop and L’Oreal have announced on their websites plans for gradually eliminating the scrubbing beads from their products and are testing more natural alternatives, like ground seeds or nuts.

Consumers that don’t wish to use products with the beads should avoid products that list polyethylene and polypropylene as ingredients, according to the Alliance for the Great Lakes, an advocate for protection of the Great Lakes.


For more information, visit GreatLakes.org.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Put a Stop to the Sweat Shop

This summer, Chicago passed a sweat-free ordinance so that tax dollars will not support sweatshops. There is still much work to be done to ensure that this important legislation has an impact on the lives of those that sew our garments.

Get Your Solar Panels Right Here, Right Now

The Environmental Law and Policy Center is working with nonprofit Vote Solar, the city of Chicago and the World Wildlife Fund to launch Solar Chicago, a solar panel discount program for Chicago and surrounding communities.

New Illinois Farmers’ Market and Cottage Food Law

Public Act 098-0660, a new farmers’ market law passed this spring by the Illinois General Assembly, is a major step forward in creating risk- and scale-appropriate regulations for farmers’ markets that will improve consumer access to locally produced food, support farmers’ markets as a whole and the farmers and entrepreneurs that call them home.

Environmental Scoreboard Making Gains

The Illinois spring legislative session ended on May 30, and environmental advocates worked down to the wire on several important pieces of legislation. Here are some highlights.

Support the Solar Fix

Two pending bills—SB 103 (Sen. Harmon) and HB 2864 (Rep. Mautino)—would fix the renewable portfolio standard (RPS), which 77 percent of Illinois voters support.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

Tips for Better, More Natural Sleep

Researchers have come up with some great advice for achieving the sleep of our dreams.

Illinois Becomes First State to Ban Microbeads

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation outlawing the manufacture and sale of personal care products containing synthetic plastic microbeads.

PFF Chocolate Addiction Breakfast Smoothie

A delicious, nutritious and quick way to start the day is with a smoothie.

Celebrate Life Around the World

The nonprofit Celebrate Life Festival (CLF), one of Europe’s largest spiritual events, invites everyone to join them for its 11th annual event, via an online web conference.

New Solutions for Digestive Distress

Dr. Richard Bisceglie, DN, CNS, will present a program, Are You Absorbing Food?, at the Center for Holistic Medicine.

Mastering Alchemy with Natalia Remmy

Natalia Remmy, an authorized teacher of Mastering Alchemy Level 1, will facilitate a series of eight workshops at the Sungates Center, in Wheeling.