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Blog
The Truth about Plastic Bag Bans
by John Hite

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.

Blog
Burning Medical Waste is a Toxic Business
by Kevin Budris

A proposed medical waste facility in West Warwick would collect and burn waste from healthcare facilities across New England. But we have a responsibility to protect the health and safety of our communities and environment. Now is not the time for Rhode Island to become the region’s dumping ground for toxic medical waste.

Blog
Should You Ditch Your Reusable Bags? No.
by John Hite

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.

Blog
Connecticut’s Bottle Bill is Back After Services Were Reduced
by Kevin Budris

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, staffing concerns caused many New England states with bottle return programs to temporarily stop enforcing collection requirements at grocery stores, supermarkets, and liquor shops. Connecticut was among the states pressing pause on bottle bill enforcement. But as of May 20, the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has reinstated bottle collection requirements at these retail sites.

Press Releases
CLF and Partners Urge MA Officials to Lift Ban on Reusable Bags

“Public health must always be the primary concern,” said Kirstie Pecci, Director of the Zero Waste Project at CLF. “However, the scientific community has made it clear that the risk of transmitting the virus by touching a bag or bottle is almost nonexistent. Allowing reusable bags and resuming bottle deposits will keep tons of plastic out of landfills or incinerators and stop it from further polluting our land and air.”

Blog
Waste Industry Exploits Pandemic as Cover for Rollbacks
by Jen Duggan

Under cover of the pandemic, the waste industry is trying to demolish critical environmental protections. In April, the waste industry and Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation asked the legislature to delay Vermont’s food scrap ban and trash recyclables, all under the guise of protecting the health of workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But they appear to be part of a push from waste industry groups to use the crisis to advance their own agenda in several New England states.

Blog
UPDATE: Developer Withdraws Application for Rhode Island Garbage Depot
by Kevin Budris

Last month, we helped raise the alarm about a dangerous proposal for a garbage depot near Washington Park and South Providence neighborhoods. The garbage depot – and the dust, odor, traffic, and water pollution that would come with it – would have forced more pollution on communities already overburdened by other nearby industrial facilities. The reckless proposal spurred weeks of community action and resulted in an unqualified victory for residents.

Press Releases
Proposal for Providence “Garbage Depot” Withdrawn

“The decision to scrap plans for this garbage depot is an unqualified win for the neighborhood,” said Kevin Budris, staff attorney at CLF Rhode Island. “The community was loud and clear in opposing the toxic exhaust and dust this dirty facility would produce. We need to put our efforts into reducing waste, rather than forcing our communities to deal with pollution from trash that they did not create.”

Blog
Beverage Containers Among Top Ten Items Littering the Connecticut River
by Kelsey Wentling

My first day on the job as Connecticut River Conservancy’s newest River Steward was a whirlwind – literally. We got an early morning start with our friends at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for a windy trip up and down the Connecticut River on their airboat. As we came to our first stop and dismounted the boat, I was shocked and disappointed to see the amount of plastic bottles and nips littering Connecticut’s shoreline.