A bill in Congress aims to do Illinois lawmakers did last year: phase out household products with plastic microbeads.
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is one of the co-sponsors of the Senate version of the legislation. He says he’s concerned about the 46,000 microbeads per square kilometer being found in the Great Lakes and the effect the tiny bits of plastic can have on Lake Michigan’s ecosystem.
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Any ban would be phased in over the course of a few years, so Kirk has taking the intermediate step of asking companies who make body wash and other products with microbeads to clearly label them for customers.
“So the consumers can really make up their own minds, and I would ask people to not buy the microbeaded products so we don’t put the load on Lake Michigan so much,” Kirk said.
Illinois’ own ban on microbeads goes into effect in 2017.