The Wrong Directon on Single-Use Disposable Plastics: The Legislature Should Reject S2600 and A3267
Trenton -- Both the New Jersey Assembly and Senate are voting on S2600 and A3267, an industry sponsored version of a plastic bag bill. Clean Water Action as a lead member of a larger environmental coalition is advocating for stronger plastics reduction policies at the state, local and retail store level. The industry amendments are designed to help perpetuate plastics and single use disposables in ways that were not intended by the original bill. Clean Water Action, community outreach staff and our allies held a mini lobby day today urging legislators to stop and amend S2600 and A3267.
Clean Water Action released the following statement:
“We are at a point in society when we don’t need plastic disposables when reusables are readily available and commonly used,” said Amy Goldsmith, NJ state director for Clean Water Action.
“Just as recycling became a paradigm shift 30 years ago, reusables can become the new normal,” added Goldsmith.
“This bill as written does nothing to address the fundamental problem,” said Janet Tauro, Clean Water Action’s NJ Board Chair. “We shouldn’t be using plastics at all, even if the state would wind up generating some funds from a bag fee. Some things are just more important than money like environmental and public health.”
“Plastics litter our streets, pollute our waterways, kill marine life and can cause public health problems. They enter the food chain and we wind up eating them. Who wants plastic in their bodies or the bodies of our children? Why? Just for so called convenience?” added Tauro.
“It’s heinous that the state legislature would even consider an industry sponsored bill that would prevent municipalities from passing ordinances to ban plastic bags in the future,” added Tauro.
Added Goldsmith: “The towns that passed disposable bag bans responded to a growing groundswell of public support. They are to be commended, and their example followed by the state house.”
Those towns include: Teaneck, Point Pleasant Beach, Long Beach Township, Longport, and Ventnor. California and Hawaii have banned plastic bags, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced legislation to create a statewide ban.
“The time has come to ban the plastic bag,” said Goldsmith, adding that the organization’s canvassers find widespread support for a ban when canvassing throughout NJ.
Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table.