Plastic is everywhere – even in the places you’d least expect, like chewing gum, tea bags, wet wipes, receipts, and microwaveable popcorn bags. Yet, manufacturers continue to make more and more plastic each year – even though how plastic is made fuels a toxic cycle of production, consumption, and disposal.
“Burning waste of any kind threatens our environment and poses unacceptable toxic risks to neighboring communities,” said Kevin Budris, Zero Waste Attorney at CLF Rhode Island. “Medical waste contains large amounts of plastic, as well as sharps, pathological waste, cleanup materials, and other biological waste. When this waste is burned with high-heat technologies, it emits some of the most dangerous pollutants known to humankind. Today’s decision aligns with Rhode Island’s new law to protect our communities, homes, schools, and waters from dirty, climate-destroying medical waste-burning facilities.”
“Dirty, climate-destroying waste-burning facilities have no place in Rhode Island,” said Kevin Budris, Zero Waste Attorney at Conservation Law Foundation Rhode Island. “This bill will protect Rhode Islanders, especially those living in communities already overburdened by pollution. We urge Governor McKee to protect our residents by signing this bill into law as soon as possible.“
The plastics and petrochemical industries want to make it easier to burn plastic with high-heat technology. Why? So that they can continue to produce tons of plastic while pretending to be a part of the solution. But plastic-burners are toxic. That’s why we’re fighting back.
I’ve always assumed that because I care about Connecticut’s environment, others do, too. But after volunteering with CLF as a fellow earlier this year, I learned that Connecticut suffers from a waste crisis. Now, the blinders are off.
Incinerator emissions are polluting the air and poisoning our communities. The problem is, clean air laws often favor polluters instead of the people they’re supposed to protect.
Hartford’s incinerator has been poisoning nearby communities for far too long. It’s time for the city to shut down this toxic facility and move towards innovative zero-waste solutions that aim to protect public health.
The City of Providence took a critical step in creating a zero-waste future and protecting its communities by banning trash incineration. The ban provides a model that other communities throughout the region can follow.
Burning and burying our trash leads to carbon pollution. We need to phase out these old, polluting incinerators and landfills and replace them with zero-waste alternatives. By doing so, we can help lower climate-damaging emissions and protect our communities and the environment.
Jackie Mercurio is carrying on her mother’s fight against a toxic waste incinerator.