Statement for Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee on A2783
March 15, 2021
Clean Water Action thanks the committee for the opportunity to comment on A2783 and Assemblyman Stanley and Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle for sponsoring this bill. Clean Water Action supports the bill directing the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop guidelines for state and local government purchases to be more environmentally sustainable.
Comments for the Senate Environment and Energy Committee on Post-consumer Recycled Content Bill S2515
March 4, 2021
Given that there was no opportunity to testify, below are Clean Water Action's comments about S2515. Clean Water Action supports the post-consumer recycled content bill with a few remaining concerns.
Clean Water Action first and foremost advocates for programs that prevent waste before it is created. We promote reusables over single-use disposables whenever possible. The bag, foam, and straws bill (S864) signed into law in November was a critical first step. Thank you Senator Smith for leading that effort.
NJ's statewide ban on single-use carryout bags and polystyrene foam containers was a huge victory made possible in part by the 50 plus local ordinances banning these and other single-use disposables. This just goes to show how powerful local policies can be in creating larger change. So what else can municipalities do?
Despite so many challenges, we accomplished so much in 2020. One of our biggest victories in New Jersey was helping pass legislation banning single-use carryout bags and polystyrene foam food containers, while also limiting unnecessary use of plastic straws by requiring restaurants to provide them only upon request! This is a huge step forward but we still have a long way to go to fight plastic pollution and climate change. So what else can we do?
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, household waste from packaged online orders, disposable take-out containers, and other single-use disposables is at an all time high. We also know that as much waste is produced by households, industry produces about 70 times that amount upstream. We are in one of the worst eras of plastic pollution ever, but we are also in one of the best moments of plastic pollution activism! Join us in celebrating Plastic Free July - a month dedicated to raising awareness and taking action to fight plastic pollution.
2018 was the year of plastic with plastic pollution reaching public attention more than ever before. The global plastic crisis made the cover of National Geographic, headlines in multiple international news sources and documentaries, and even a special on 60 Minutes. We also saw more plastic pollution policies introduced and adopted worldwide, including over twenty local policies in New Jersey!
Governments and municipalities all over the world are proposing bans on single-use plastic straws, from the U.K. to Monmouth Beach, New Jersey! Here in New Jersey, ReThink Disposable is excited to highlight restaurants who have changed their own policies on serving plastic straws in order to address the issues of plastic pollution in our oceans.
Here in New Jersey, we love our local restaurants and shops. Let’s take a minute and appreciate them just a little more because they are helping Clean Water Action take on a huge environmental issue: single-use disposables.
Since I started my new role as Clean Water Action's ReThink Disposable Coordinator, I’ve been talking with many business owners and people in the community about the very exciting topic of waste, in particular, single-use disposables like plastic straws, cutlery and bags and foam take out containers. I’m happy to find shared values when it comes to wanting to prevent trash from entering our waterways and filling up our ocean.