SPRINGFIELD – A proposal by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) to study the potential threat of microplastics was signed into law on Friday by Gov. Pritzker.

“While the prevalence of microplastics is well known, the potential environmental and human health effects are not yet fully understood,” Morrison said. “With increasing levels of plastic being found in our waterways, it is of even greater importance to reduce consumption of plastics whenever possible.”

Morrison’s new law, contained in Senate Bill 1392, requires the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois-Champaign to study microplastics and the threat they may pose to human health and the environment.

Microplastics – very small pieces of plastic often undetectable to the human eye – have been discovered in bodies of water across the globe and have showed up in the digestive tracts of aquatic animals and birds.

“We know microplastic contaminants in our waterways have become a dangerous, expansive problem nationally, but with this legislation, we will come much closer to understanding the scope of the problem right here in Illinois,” said Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council. “IEC commends Senator Morrison and the General Assembly for taking microplastic contamination seriously.”

Senate Bill 1392 was signed into law on Friday and takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.