25 August, 2012

Today, the Governor of Illinois rejected a bill that would have crippled conservation efforts throughout the state. Senate Bill 3442, authored by Senator Terry Link (D-Lincolnshire) was vetoed today by Gov. Pat Quinn. The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education (COARE), applauds the Governor for taking decisive action to support our environment. Since its inception, COARE has been actively addressing plastic pollution and attempting to reduce single-use plastic consumption in the U.S. and worldwide.

Senate Bill 3442 appeared to be protective and environmental in spirit, but would have undermined the reduction of and phasing-out of single-use bags. SB 3442 attempted to prohibit the regulation of single-use plastic bags in practically every municipality throughout the state, thus ensuring the continued proliferation of plastic waste. In contrast, well over 100 jurisdictions across the United States, and even 11 entire nations have banned single-use plastic bags.

Following his veto action, Governor Quinn wrote in a statement that SB 3442 "would've prevented communities from coming up with innovative solutions."

"We're thrilled and relieved by the Governor's action today. This bill would have set a horrible precedent," said Christopher Chin, COARE's executive director. "We are proud to see Illinois continue to take a strong stance in environmental matters."

An estimated 60-80% of all marine debris, and 90% of floating debris is plastic. At least 267 species worldwide have been impacted by plastic in our oceans, including plastic bags.

Through its "Enough with the plastic already!" campaign, COARE seeks to reduce the amount of ocean-bound waste by helping people become more aware of how their habits affect the world around them. COARE raises public awareness of some very commonly overlooked sources of trash, and encourages people everywhere to examine their choices.

Christopher Chin
+1 510-495-7875