SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR)– Lawmakers and environmental groups presented a series of legislation aimed to reduce the use of plastic and styrofoam Tuesday.
Lawmakers are calling for everyone in the state to use less of these items by proposing a bill that would require you to ask for plastic items from vendors.
“We’re not saying you can’t use straws and plastic utensils but we’re saying don’t give them to consumers without consumers making the requests. A lot of time you get a carryout item, take it home, each your lunch and you never even use the plastic item, you end up throwing them out,” said Chicago representative Ann Williams. “We’re saying if you don’t request it, why waste it?” Why bother to get that item and then put it in the environment?”
Anne Marie Hanson and her students at UIS clean up pollution in Lake Springfield and Lake Illinois to collect research. She said the more we use plastic in everyday items, the more those items become of apart of our environment.
“When you find these [plastic bags] on the rocks (in bodies of water) they tend to break down and shatter into a million pieces when you try to pick them up,” Hanson said.
Those plastic particles pollute the air and water and eventually find their way back into our bodies.
“There are studies that demonstrate that it is in a lot of our foods, especially foods packaged in plastic. You’re consuming micro nano particles also many studies have shown that it’s in our poop,”said Hanson.
Lawmakers acknowledged that these bills may a long way away from actually becoming law but they want people to know that Illinois could be plastic free one day.