plasticware 032423SPRINGFIELD –To ensure state operations are prioritizing environmental sustainability and not contributing to degradation, State Senator Laura Fine is leading an initiative to limit the consumption of single-use plastic foodware by state agencies over the next year.

“We need to be more conscious of how we use and dispose of single-use plastics and the impact they have on our environment,” said Fine (D-Glenview). “Illinois state agencies should be the role model of transitioning to sustainable, environmentally-friendly foodware.”

Single-use plastics, disposable packaging and other items are designed to be used only once and then discarded. Unlike refillable and reusable foodware, single-use plastics consume a significant amount of energy, water and natural resources to serve a customer for just a few minutes. While some of these products are recyclable, many are not disposed of properly and are processed as trash, resulting in them being burned or left as litter. They then end up polluting lakes, rivers and waterways, and harming our ecosystem.

Senate Bill 58 would require state agencies to track their own purchases of single-use plastic foodware for one year and establish goals to reduce their use. Agencies must then submit a report of their findings to the governor and the General Assembly. This report will inform lawmakers about the current status of single-use plastic foodware consumption from state agencies, how effective their efforts to reduce consumption were, and the best plans moving forward to reduce their consumption.

Senate Bill 58 passed the Senate on Friday, March 24. It now goes to the House for further discussion.