Lake Michigan is one of Illinois’ greatest assets. But plastic pollution puts Lake Michigan and all our waterways at risk, polluting our drinking water and harming wildlife.
Polystyrene foam – a plastic used to make single-used foam cups and food containers – is among the most polluting plastic products. Polystyrene foam doesn’t biodegrade in nature and is nearly impossible to recycle. Byproducts of polystyrene production can pollute the water, harming neighborhoods near factories.
Some of the most common items Adopt-a-Beach volunteers remove from Lake Michigan’s Illinois shorelines are foam take-out containers and pieces of polystyrene foam. While our volunteers are on the frontlines of keeping plastic out of Lake Michigan, we know that they are only able to pick up a fraction of the plastic pollution on our beaches. And once single-use polystyrene pieces end up in our waterways, it’s nearly impossible to clean them up.
The Illinois House of Representatives passed a bill earlier this week that would phase out single-use plastic polystyrene foam foodware. The bill is now being considered by the Illinois Senate.
We hope Illinois will join the eight states and roughly 200 cities and municipalities that have enacted bans on polystyrene foam containers.