In the recent session of the General Assembly, a bill was introduced to make Rhode Island the first state to ban plastic checkout bags. Whether they’re littered or disposed of in trash bins, plastic bags easily blow into our city streets, yards, and parks. And because plastic never biodegrades, some of the most significant environmental damage is done when plastic bags end up in our waterways, like the Pawtuxet River, Narragansett Bay, and the ocean beyond.
If we ban plastic checkout bags, we can eliminate one of Rhode Island’s most common and unnecessary sources of litter, trash and harm to our wildlife. I applaud Cranston's State Rep. Handy for cosponsoring the bag ban bill in the spring, and I urge Majority Leader Mattiello to commit now to supporting the plastic bag ban in the coming General Assembly session. Rhode Island can and should be a leader on this issue. Rhode Island may not have the best economy, but we can be proud of how we treat our environment. We might even find ourselves on the forefront to empower other states to do the same. As the saying goes, think globally, act locally. Let’s work together to make it happen!!