The 21st Show

Proposed Legislation Combats Plastic Pollution In Illinois


State Capitol in Springfield Reginald Hardwick/Illinois Newsroom

Illinois proposed two bills taxing plastic bags use throughout the state. 

Senate Bill 1240 proposed implementing a seven-cent tax throughout the state, except in locations with an existing plastic bag tax. While House Bill 3335 looked to create a statewide 10-cent tax on plastic bags, except in the city of Chicago.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, most disposable plastics are only used for a few minutes — a plastic grocery bag for about a half hour, a drink straw for about a combined 5 minute or a coffee stirrer for a few seconds.

Though a product of convenience, it takes nearly 400 years to for plastic to break down after its 5 minutes of use.

 “We shouldn’t villainize the material, we should figure out when and where to use it appropriately so that it is beneficial,” said designer, sociologist Leyla Acaroglu.

With help of the tax, legislator’s hope that consumer will cut back on their plastic waste.

Guests: State Senator Melinda Bush is a democrat representing Illinois' 31st Senate district. Leyla Acaroglu is a designer, sociologist and a United Nations “Champion of the Earth” award winner.

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