Representative McEntee’s ‘Plastic Reduction Act’ heard in House Environment & Natural Resources committee

State House

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) –  Representative Carol Hagan McEntee’s bill to reduce plastic bags from businesses by offering environmentally green options, and penalties for violations, was heard by the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee, Thursday night.

“I am the representative from two coastal communities and we have seen firsthand the damage that plastic bags do to our oceans and environment for many years now. In Rhode Island, we throw away approximately 26,000 tons of plastic bags and plastic film every year. When you think about how little plastic bags weigh, this is a staggering amount of waste that needs to be eliminated in our state. Plastics litter our parks, clog our rivers and oceans, and choke our wildlife. These particles end up in our soil, in our drinking water, in the food we eat and in the air we breathe. Now is the time to end this environmental and public health destruction and finally pass a statewide ban on plastic bags,” said Representative McEntee (D-Dist. 33, South Kingstown, Narragansett).

Rep. McEntee introduced the bill last year. Plastics in local water break down into smaller pieces through water current and sunlight into microplastics, these plastics are ingested by the wildlife. These plastics put Rhode Island’s fishing industry and its underwater ecosystem at risk. The legislation acknowledges that plastic bags and films are the largest contaminant on a global and local scale.

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