What happened, and what are the next steps with plastics bags in Rhode Island?

The general assembly for 2019 came to a finish in late June and the statewide plastic bag effort did not result in a state law. This is both good and bad. The good news is that the uniform and consistent ordinances in 14 communities (representing 500,000 people) remains in place and these ordinances successfully eradicate all plastic bags from retail stores. The bad news is the rest of the state still allows for plastic bags and these unnecessary single-use material will continue to impact the environment.

The plan for the summer and into 2020 is two-fold. At a local level, more communities (such as Richmond and East Greenwich) will take action with support from Clean Ocean Access to put in place uniform and consistent ordinances to eradicate plastic bags. During the fall we will activate efforts with state legislators to re-introduce the senate version of the bill (S410A) and request the pre-emption language is set as the “floor” so that it defines the minimum requirement.

The time is now to take this action, to advance the local efforts and build momentum for the state.

Please contact Clean Ocean Access to get involved with the effort.

Thank you