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Illinois lawmakers introduce legislation combating plastic pollution

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WREX) — Two Illinois lawmakers and an advocacy group announced a package of legislation combating plastic pollution on Tuesday.

The legislation would focus on the plastic pollution from single-use plastics in Illinois waterways and the Great Lakes region.

If enacted, Illinois would lead the region in reducing single-use plastic, eliminating dangerous polystyrene and protecting public health.

The "Plastic-Free Water for Illinois" platform would reduce plastic pollution by eliminating significant sources of single-use plastic, advancing sustainable solutions to keep drinking water clean and ecosystems health.

The platform tackles the crisis:

  • Banning polystyrene beginning in 2022
  • Requiring single-use plastic serviceware to be provided only by request or at a self-serve station
  • Creating a statewide container deposit, similar to Michigan and 10 other states
  • Incentivizing state procurement of recyclable and compostable materials
  • Establishing a statewide $.10 carryout bag fee

"All of the research points to the extreme risk of plastic pollution in our waterways and it is time to effect meaningful change to protect our resources and communities," said Rep. Ann Williams, who sponsors the legislation.

State Sen. Melinda Bush is also a sponsor of the legislation.

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Andrew Carrigan

Andy Carrigan is the Social Media & Digital Content Manager at WREX. He joined the 13 WREX team as a photographer in 2016 after graduating from Northern Illinois University. He also been a producer and Assignment Editor at the station.

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