More than 40% of the plastics in use today are only used once before being discarded. Single-use plastics such as bags, straws, stirrers, tableware, carryout containers, and foam cups don’t biodegrade once they enter the environment—instead they break down into tiny pieces, which are frequently mistaken for food and ingested by fish and other aquatic wildlife. Research shows that plastic pollution in our waterways adversely affect more than 260 different marine species.
Connecticut can protect our waters from plastic pollution these 3 steps to eliminate harmful single use plastics:
1. Ban Carryout Plastic Bags: Plastic bags litter our parks, pollute our waterways, and damage our infrastructure. Prohibiting single-use plastic bags at retail checkouts will allow CT to dramatically reduce harmful plastic bags that threaten marine life and frequently jam up municipal recycling equipment. Banning thin plastic bags, coupled with a fee on paper and thicker plastic bags, will allow CT to significantly curb single-use bag consumption and incentivize consumers to switch to an environmentally friendly, cost effective solution—reusable bags.
2. Ban Plastic Tableware at Food Service Establishments: Single-use food service items such as plastic utensils, straws and stirrers are wasteful, unnecessary, and cost taxpayers millions to dispose of every year. By eliminating items like single-use plastic tableware, straws and stirrers at food service establishments (including restaurants, grocery stores and food trucks), CT can cut down on a significant source of cheap plastics that threaten our marine environment and take up unnecessary space in the solid waste stream.
3. Ban Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Food Service Packaging: In addition to increasing public exposure to Styrene, a likely carcinogen, and contributing to the plastic pollution problem in our local waterways, EPS presents a large problem for recyclers. EPS foam cannot be easily recycled, if at all. Prohibiting food service establishments from using foam carryout containers, cups and other types of packaging would allow CT to join the growing number of communities taking action to eliminate Polystyrene waste.
Reusin’ is the Solution to Plastic Pollution
Single-use plastics are a significant source of ocean pollution, and they cost taxpayers millions each year to dispose of. The good news is that there are cost effective, reusable alternatives that are readily available to consumers. These include reusable bags, reusable straws and tableware, reusable coffee mugs, and recyclable carryout containers!
Contact your lawmakers today and urge them to eliminate pollution from single-use plastics in Connecticut! Tell your legislators to support legislation this year prohibiting single-use plastic bags, plastic straws and tableware and polystyrene food packaging.
Thank you for taking action. Together we make a difference!
All of Us at CCE