"Personal care product" means any article intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance, and any article intended for use as a component of any such article. "Personal care product" does not include any prescription drugs.
"Plastic" means a synthetic material made from linking monomers through a chemical reaction to create an organic polymer chain that can be molded or extruded at high heat into various solid forms retaining their defined shapes during life cycle and after disposal.
"Synthetic plastic microbead" means any intentionally added non-biodegradable solid plastic particle measured less than 5 millimeters in size and is used to exfoliate or cleanse in a rinse-off product.
(b) The General Assembly hereby finds that microbeads, a synthetic alternative ingredient to such natural materials as ground almonds, oatmeal, and pumice, found in over 100 personal care products, including facial cleansers, shampoos, and toothpastes, pose a serious threat to the State's environment.
Microbeads have been documented to collect harmful pollutants already present in the environment and harm fish and other aquatic organisms that form the base of the aquatic food chain. Recently, microbeads have been recorded in Illinois water bodies, and in particular, the waters of Lake Michigan.
Although synthetic plastic microbeads are a safe and effective mild abrasive ingredient effectively used for gently removing dead skin, there are recent concerns about the potential environmental impact of these materials. More research is needed on any adverse consequences, but a number of cosmetic manufacturers have already begun a voluntary process for identifying alternatives that allay those concerns. Those alternatives will be carefully evaluated to assure safety and implemented in a timely manner.
Without significant and costly improvements to the majority of the State's sewage treatment facilities, microbeads contained in products will continue to pollute Illinois' waters and hinder the recent substantial economic investments in redeveloping Illinois waterfronts and the ongoing efforts to restore the State's lakes and rivers and recreational and commercial fisheries.
(c) Effective December 31, 2017, no person shall manufacture for sale a personal care product, except for an over the counter drug, that contains synthetic plastic microbeads as defined in this Section.
(d) Effective December 31, 2018, no person shall accept for sale a personal care product, except for an over the counter drug, that contains synthetic plastic microbeads as defined in this Section.
(e) Effective December 31, 2018, no person shall manufacture for sale an over the counter drug that contains synthetic plastic microbeads as defined in this Section.
(f) Effective December 31, 2019, no person shall accept for sale an over the counter drug that contains synthetic plastic microbeads as defined in this Section.
(Source: P.A. 98-638, eff. 1-1-15