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State set to be first in the nation to ban agencies from buying single-use plastics: 'To chart a better path forward'

"In government we have an obligation."

"In government we have an obligation."

Photo Credit: iStock

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey has announced she intends to sign an executive order to ban state agencies from buying single-use plastic products. 

Healey was speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative when she revealed the plan, which will be effective immediately once confirmed.

"We know that plastic waste, plastic production are among the leading threats to our oceans, our climate and environmental justice," Healey said in her speech, according to Phys.org. "In government we have an obligation, we also have an opportunity to not only stop contributing to this damage but to chart a better path forward."

Massachusetts has already set a state law that will necessitate meeting net zero emissions targets by 2050 to help remove the same amount of pollution put into the air, but Healey's proposed policy will further the Commonwealth's green agenda. 

Healey said Massachusetts would be the first state in the nation to stop the purchase of single-use plastics. She also announced her intention to implement biodiversity targets for the next three decades, warning how the warming climate is leading to the decline of natural resources, which threatens economic stability, public health, and food security. 

According to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, more than 17 billion pounds (8 million tons) of plastic enters oceans every year. With Massachusetts having a proud maritime history, it's unsurprising that reducing plastic pollution is a significant goal. 

Marine scientist Abby Barrows contributed her thoughts on the Coalition's website, noting that plastic pollution can break down into microplastics through exposure to the sun and weathering. 

Not only are microplastics easily transported, but they can also enter the bodies of marine animals through ingestion. Furthermore, they can potentially release harmful chemicals from the initial plastic production process into water supplies. 

Healey called on her colleagues and contemporaries across the country to join her stance in bringing forward vital laws to protect the environment, as reported by Phys.org

"Our natural world recognizes no political divisions and neither should our work to protect it," she said.

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