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News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

New scorecard grades popular apparel brands on commitments to avoiding PFAS

Illinois PIRG Education Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.(NRDC) and Fashion FWD released a scorecard on Wednesday ranking popular retail and apparel brands on policy commitments to eliminate a dangerous class of toxic “forever chemicals,” known as PFAS, from their products.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund, NRDC and Fashion FWD

Going Out of Fashion

PFAS use in apparel and other consumer products is coming under increased scrutiny from lawmakers. However, apparel manufacturers and retail stores don’t need to wait for the law to catch up to the proliferation of toxic PFAS. They can get out in front of the regulatory curve and protect their customers and the planet from PFAS pollution by immediately adopting policies to end the use of PFAS in clothing, footwear, and accessories. Indeed, some already have. 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Burger King commits to eliminating toxic “forever chemicals” in food packaging globally

Restaurant Brands International (RBI), parent company of Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes, announced Wednesday evening a new global commitment to eliminate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging used in its restaurants by 2025.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Tips to protect yourself against cyberattacks from Russia (or anywhere else) | Teresa Murray

The new threat of cyberattacks may have you wondering what you can do to protect yourself. It’s a great time to remind you about best practices you should already be following.

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News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

Illinois Department of Insurance requests data from car insurers on overcharges during the pandemic

The Illinois Department of Insurance called on auto insurers Wednesday to provide detailed data that will allow for greater understanding on how much insurance companies overcharged Illinois drivers during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The “data call” comes in response to a letter sent by 16 state senators and nine advocacy organizations in January. Insurers will have through mid-May to respond, and the information will be made public by June.

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News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

‘Failing the Fix’ scorecard grades Apple, Google, Dell, others on how fixable their devices are

Consumers often don’t know which products will last and they’ll be able to fix, or which manufacturers make fixable devices and support Right to Repair. A new scorecard by Illinois PIRG Education Fund, “Failing the Fix,” ranks the most popular cell phone and laptop makers for consumers who seek to purchase easily repairable products – especially those from companies who do not fight to prevent Right to Repair.

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News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

‘Hog-tied’ and fed up: New report shows dealership consolidation makes farmers’ lives harder

Many farm equipment manufacturers prevent farmers from accessing the software tools they need to fix their modern tractors. That forces farmers to turn to corporate-authorized dealers for many problems, which can lead to high repair bills and delays that can put their crops—and their livelihoods—at risk. While farmers have always relied on local dealerships for help, more and more those dealerships have been bought up by large chain networks, further reducing competition and exacerbating the problems farmers already face due to repair restrictions.

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News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Democracy

New analysis: Automatic voter registration has boosted Illinois’ statewide voter roll

Voter registration applications have increased by 37% at Driver Services offices of the Secretary of State since the implementation of automatic voter registration (AVR), according to analysis released Wednesday by Illinois PIRG Education Fund. Since AVR’s implementation in July 2018, the system has helped register or update the voter registration of 1.3 million voters. 

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News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

As its failing pipe replacement program puts Chicagoans in debt, Peoples Gas on track for record profits

The Peoples Gas pipe replacement program once again ended the year behind schedule and over budget according to a year-end report released Monday. Peoples Gas charged its residential customers nearly $157, on average, for the program in 2021. That has contributed to widespread home heating affordability challenges in Chicago. Despite this, Peoples Gas is on track to make record profits in 2021, surpassing the previous record set in 2020.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Solid Waste

Statement: Consumer, environmental advocates welcome Coca-Cola’s commitment to reuse

ATLANTA--- The Coca-Cola Co., the world’s top plastic polluter according to a recent Global Brand Audit, announced on Thursday a new commitment to use refillable or returnable glass or plastic bottles – or refillable containers at fountains and dispensers – for at least 25% of global beverage sales across its entire brand portfolio by 2030.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Looking Inward

We surveyed nearly 1,000 personal care products from 26 popular cosmetics companies and scored them on ingredient safety and disclosure. The major takeaway: most companies need to do a lot more to inform their customers about what ingredients are in their products.

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Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

What are Illinoisans Fixing?

According to a review of data from iFixit, which describes itself as the “repair guide for everything, written by everyone,” 2.2 million unique users from Illinois went to www.iFixit.com to look up how to repair something in 2020. 

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Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

Electric Buildings

To prevent air and water pollution and avoid the worst impacts of global warming, America must move toward meeting our energy needs with 100% renewable energy. Getting there will require that we get the most out of every bit of energy we use – and that we stop burning fossil fuels in our homes and commercial buildings. 

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Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Transform Transportation

America's transportation system is wrecking our health. Traffic-related air pollution kills an estimated 58,000 Americans every year, and increases the risk of serious health conditions, including lung cancer, stroke, heart disease, asthma, and even dementia.

There is a better way. By rebuilding our transportation system to give more people the option to spend less time in a car, by expanding access to active means of travel such as walking and biking, and by adopting zeroemission electric cars and buses, we can make our transportation safer, healthier,cleaner and more efficient.

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Report | U.S.PIRG Education Fund

Vital and Undervalued

As the pandemic has painfully reminded us, our entire society depends on caregivers yet we undervalue the vital contributions of unpaid family caregivers. It benefits all of us when it is possible for people to care for their loved ones who need care, so we should increase support for family caregivers.

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Blog Post | Democracy

Automatic voter registration has boosted Illinois’ statewide voter roll | Keegan Hollyer

There have been multiple challenges to automatic voter registration implementation in Illinois and there are still opportunities to significantly improve AVR implementation. Even with those challenges, we wanted to measure the law’s effectiveness at Secretary of State facilities since implementation began in the summer of 2018. Our analysis shows that voter registration applications at Secretary of State facilities have increased markedly, by 37 percent, which translates to an additional 111,000 voter applications every year. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

National Consumer Protection Week 2022 | Teresa Murray

Every day during the first week of March, PIRG is providing consumer protection tips and tools to help Americans address some of the most common consumer issues.

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Blog Post

Why is nobody talking about outdoor gear's PFAS problem at Snow Show? | Emily Rogers

Much of our outdoor clothing and gear is waterproofed using toxic PFAS chemicals, but a few industry leaders are beginning to recognize it's not worth the impacts on our health and environment.

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Blog Post | COVID-19

How to keep food safe during a power outage | Isabel Brown

When the power goes out, the food in your refrigerator and freezer can get up to temperatures that make it no longer safe to eat.

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News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

goans paid 43% more to heat their homes this past winter compared to the year before, a result of surging gas prices and the expensive Peoples Gas pipe replacement program, according to a new report released on Friday. While higher gas prices played the largest role in the year-over-year spike in bills, the pipe replacement program has been slowly raising home heating bills for years. For example, over the first three months of 2022, the average Peoples Gas customer paid just under $40 for the pipe replacement program through a surcharge on bills. Over the same period in 2018, average customers paid $16 for the surcharge.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

After decades of danger and more than 200 infant deaths, President Joe Biden signed the  Safe Sleep for Babies Act into law on Monday.

News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

The auto insurance industry is attempting to block the publication of data documenting its windfall profits in Illinois during the early waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the risks associated with driving plummeted but auto insurers did not lower premiums or offer rebates in proportion to the reduction in risk. In a letter sent last week to the Illinois Department of Insurance, three auto insurance associations challenged the Department’s March  call for information documenting insurer profits, losses, and refunds given to consumers between 2019 and 2021. Consumer advocates estimate that auto insurers overcharged Illinois drivers by about $900 million in 2020.

Blog Post

Today U.S. PIRG Education Fund and NRDC launched a campaign to urge Columbia Sportswear to eliminate toxic PFAS in their products and supply chain by 2024. The campaign will engage everyday consumers through a petition drive and mobilize the public impacted by PFAS contamination.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund and NRDC

 

U.S. PIRG Education Fund and NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) launched a campaign on Tuesday calling on outdoor gear and apparel brand Columbia Sportswear to phase out the use of PFAS in its products and supply chains. Last month, the company received low marks in a scorecard report released by the advocacy groups. The report found that Columbia Sportswear has failed to adopt policies that ban PFAS chemicals or provide up-to-date, publicly available information on any ongoing efforts to phase out these toxic chemicals from their products.

Solid Waste

PIRG hosts webinar with MythBusters' Adam Savage on Right to Repair

Our national network and the Right to Repair team organized a summit featuring keynote speaker Adam Savage from MythBusters. He shared his thoughts with us on the movement and we discussed our current progress on the Right to Repair campaign.

 

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