CLF’s forceful advocacy paid off in this year’s Rhode Island legislative session with laws passed to help our climate, stop plastic pollution, and safeguard our drinking water from toxic chemicals.
Experts are refuting the plastic industry’s claims that reusable bags carry and transmit COVID-19. One public health expert, Dr. Ben Locwin, spoke with CLF about why reusables do not increase the risk of infection, and how washing your reusables with soap or detergent reduces any theoretical risk of transmission.
Several studies have emerged challenging the effectiveness of plastic bag bans. These studies and their coverage in the media are causing some confusion among consumers and legislators. We want to set the record straight, as studies critiquing plastic bag bans don’t account for the broader scope of plastics.
The plastic industry has been trying to take advantage of the pandemic to maximize profits. But fueling fear during a public health crisis is outrageous and must be called out. To truly protect public health and the environment long-term, we need full-scale reuse systems.
“Single-use plastic bags are made from dirty fossil fuels and have no place in our daily lives,” said Amy Moses, Vice President and Director of CLF Rhode Island. “These bags wreck our climate and choke wildlife. More than half of Rhode Island’s population already lives in a community with a plastic bag ban. It’s time to pass a strong statewide law that stops this blight on our environment for good.”
Kirstie Pecci of the Conservation Law Foundation said the movement to ban plastic bags is “really rolling right now.” She said advocates are not asking people to give up all plastic products but that most plastic is unnecessary and plastic bags are “one of the most replaceable items and should be the most low-hanging fruit.”
It’s time to take New England’s work reducing plastic pollution to the next level. CLF’s Zero Waste Project is launching our campaign to ban single-use plastic bags in all six New England states to create less pollution, cleaner coastlines, and healthier communities for all.
“There’s no reason why single-use plastic bags need to be a part of our daily lives,” said Kirstie Pecci, Director of the Zero Waste program at CLF. “Most bags end up filling our landfills, littering our communities and waters, and polluting our air when burned up in incinerators. The citywide ban in Boston is a good start, and we must also ensure that any ban does not burden our elderly or low-income neighbors. We have a real opportunity to end this waste and pollution throughout New England and we must act now.”
The Massachusetts Legislative Session is over, and CLF has our recap of the good, the bad, and the “meh” from the last two years of work by our elected officials.
Governor Raimondo’s “Task Force to Tackle Plastics” is a good start for the state to start taking on plastic pollution. But to really face the problem head-on, Rhode Island must ban single-use plastics and push the state closer to Zero Waste.