Single-use plastic bags have a lot of derogatory effects on the environment, so many US states have banned their usage within their premises. In the US, cities and counties such as San Francisco, Barrington, Hawaii, Los Angeles, and Seattle have already passed legislation to ban the usage of plastic bags, and it seems like Rhode Island is going to join this list very soon.
The New Recycled Shopping Bags Legislation in Rhode Island
One of the representatives from the General Assembly of Rhode Island, Maria Cimini, stated that Rhode Island needs to ban plastic bags immediately. According to a report published by the Brown Policy Review in 2006, on an average, the residents in Rhode Island use close to 192 million single-use plastic bags each year. In the past 6 years, these figures have been increasing at a steady pace indicating that the residents in the region dispose millions of plastic bags into landfills every year.
According to Cimini, plastic bags are a big menace for the state authorities as they clog the water pipes and they are a major component of the litter in the streets. As a matter of fact, these bags have degraded the quality of the water bodies in and around the state as well. So the state authorities should consider the legislation to ban these bags immediately.
Rhode Island Promoting Recycled Shopping Bags
According to Cimini, Rhode Island is a region that takes pride in its natural resources. Since the state has a large concentration of bays, lakes, and oceans, it has always been privileged enough to have access to a lot of resources. However, in the past few years, the water resources of the state have been prone to a lot of pollution.
According to Channing Jones, the Spokesperson for the Environmental Rhode Island (a social group that supports the legislation to ban plastic bags), tons of plastic bags are recovered every time the state conducts water cleaning activities. Since these bags are non-biodegradable in nature, they are sent to the landfills. In spite of the cleaning activities, a certain percentage of these bags remain in the water bodies and degrade the marine eco-system.
Keeping in mind the problems that these bags cause, Jones feels that the state authorities should replace plastic bags with recycled shopping bags. She feels that recycled bags are an ideal solution to the problem of plastic waste, and she is hoping that the state authorities will approve the legislation to ban plastic bags.