In what many hope is the beginning of a “nationwide movement” against plastic pollution, Illinois on Sunday became the first state to sign a law banning plastic “microbeads.”

Commonly found in personal care products, microbeads are miniscule plastic fragments that easily escape sewage filtration systems after being washed down the drain. Consequently, microbeads have been found to collect in high concentrations in our oceans, gulfs, lakes and rivers—posing a grave threat to wildlife.

“Banning microbeads will help ensure clean waters across Illinois and set an example for our nation to follow,” said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn after he signed the legislation.

The new law bans the manufacture of personal care products containing microbeads by the end of 2017 and prohibits the sale of such items by the end of 2019.

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