A bit of bad news for residents of the Prairie State who are accustomed to achieving a radiant glow by rubbing and grinding thousands of teeny-tiny plastic particles into their faces:

Earlier this week, Illinois lawmakers approved legislation that would effectively put the kibosh on exfoliating personal care and beauty products — soaps, scrubs, cleansers, body washes, and even toothpaste — that contain non-biodegradable plastic microbeads. Citing environmental concern, specifically well-documented plastic pollution in the Great Lakes, Illinois has beat both New York and California to the punch and become the first state to officially give ‘beads the boot.

I believe a high five is in order.

Said Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn of the new law, which was announced this past Sunday at a press conference held at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium:

Banning microbeads will help ensure clean waters across Illinois and set an example for our nation to follow. 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 restrictions will be ushered in gradually, with the manufacture of microbead products in Illinois halting in 2018. Over the counter personal care products containing plastic microbeads — these polyethylene granules are so miniscule that they easily slip down the drain, through the filters of wastewater plants, and into natural waterways where they are ingested by fish and other forms of aquatic life — will be banished from the shelves of Illinois retailers starting in 2019.

This is all a ways off, yes, but by the time the state’s ban kicks into action, scrubs and soaps containing synthetic microbeads may already be a thing of the past thanks in part to voluntary phase-outs being enacted by industry heavyweights including Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, and L’Oreal.

Any exfoliant-happy Illinois residents care to comment on the ban? Will this effect your daily beauty regimen? Or do you already use a scrub or cleanser with a natural abrasive to give your skin a healthy glow?

Via [Chicago Tribune]

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Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Illinois is first state to ban beauty products containing microbeads
Gov. Pat Quinn backs Great Lakes-protecting legislation that halts the sale and manufacture of beauty products containing tiny plastic exfoliants.