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Illinois Plastic Bag Recycling Bill Rejected, Paving The Way For Possible Bans

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Abby Goldberg fought the law, and the 13-year-old won.

Last month, Goldberg joined other Illinois environmental activists in rallying opposition to a bill that required plastic bag manufacturers to set up recycling programs, but at the expense of municipal liberties to ban plastic bags altogether. Her petition "Don't Let Big Plastic Bully Me!" secured more than 170,000 signatures calling for a gubernatorial veto.

On Saturday night, Governor Pat Quinn called the Grayslake teenager to tell her he would support her cause and veto the bill.

"I was so excited," the Prairie Crossing Charter School eighth-grader told the Chicago Tribune Sunday. "I thanked him so many times."

The proposed law would have required manufacturers to set up recycling programs, and set a goal to increase the recycling rate by 12 percent by 2015, according to the AP. It would limit retail stores to using only registered manufacturers' products and ban local municipalities from enacting their own plastic bag laws.

On Sunday, Quinn formally vetoed the proposed law, saying that it limited local municipalities and pushing back against claims from the Illinois Manufacturers Association that called the bill an opportunity for Illinois to become a national leader in recycling, the Associated Press reports.

“While well-intentioned, this legislation is a roadblock to innovation that would do little to boost recycling in Illinois,” Quinn said in a news release. “We can do better.”

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