Vision: IPC envisions a time when using reusable bags will be as second-nature as putting on your seat belt! It took a law like that to get people to wear seat belts -- this is no different.
What happened during the 2020 Session?
- The bill passed the full House
- Passed the Senate Finance committee - This is the farthest this bill has ever gone before.
- The bill was just never called up on the full Senate floor before the clock ran out.
- It could be brought up in the Special Session in May, but the coalition is still discussing that possibility
If Passed, What Would this Bill Do?
- Ban plastic bags less than 4mm thickness
- 10 cent fee on other bags issued at the point of sale
- Establish a working group to look at all single-use plastic
People of faith are increasingly concerned about the throw-away culture of our society and its damaging impact especially on the vulnerable as well as our waterways. Why are we using fossil fuels that have been in the Earth for millions of years in order to produce a plastic bag that will be used once and thrown away? IPC supports legislation to encourage people to change their habitual use of plastic bags because of the severe degradation plastic causes in our ecosystem. All faiths hold the central "golden rule" which calls us to "love our neighbors" but when the plastic bags we use enters the environment it impacts the cleanliness of neighborhoods, reduces the health of the waters, and impacts the wider environment where it breaks down into micro-plastic pieces. Let's "do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream down unto you." (Wendell Berry)
Environmental Justice Implications: Plastic bags account for a significant portion of trash and litter pollution in our neighborhood streets, communities, and waterways, including streams and rivers that flow to the Chesapeake Bay. Urban communities suffer from plastic bags blowing around the streets. This ban will spark a change in the way our retailers operate and result in cleaner urban neighborhoods.
"Nothing we use for a few minutes should be allowed to pollute our communities and waterways and threaten wildlife for centuries."
Plastics are Harmful to our Earth
- Plastic bags are virtually un-recyclable and do not biodegrade
- 99% of plastic is made from fossil fuels
- Every stage in the plastic lifecycle produces greenhouse gas emissions
Plastics are Harmful to Wildlife:
- Plastics eventually break down into a plastic "soup" easily ingested by wildlife
- They contain toxic chemicals including carcinogens, neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors
Plastics are Harmful to Humans:
- Toxins ingested by birds, fish and other wildlife are passed on to humans