SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Illinois House passed a bill Wednesday that would ban retail establishments from using disposable food containers made of styrofoam.
The bill passed 67-43, and would take effect January 1st, 2025 if sent to the governor’s desk.
Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, said the bill’s passage was “huge step forward,” saying “we cannot recycle our way out of the plastic pollution crisis.”
According to Anja Brandon, associate director of U.S. plastics policy at Ocean Conservancy, volunteers have picked up 57,000 foam pieces from Illinois beaches and waterways.
“Not only does a ban on foam mean less plastic polluting our communities and our waters, but it also means more effective recycling,” Brandon said. “Foam cannot be recycled, but it all too frequently winds up in recycling systems, where it can clog up machinery and contaminate the waste stream. The simplest solution for the health of our recycling system and our waterways is to do away with the material entirely.”
The legislation now heads to the Senate.