Governor Gina Raimondo Monday signed an executive order to study reliance on plastic waste and its impact on Rhode Island’s natural resources. The executive order specifically will create the “Task Force to Tackle Plastics,” a body that will include environmental groups, marinas, relevant industries, state agencies and state lawmakers. According to Raimondo, the order is taking aim at reducing reliance on single-use plastics throughout the state.
“We must commit to a more sustainable future,” said Raimondo. “Since I’ve been governor, we’ve taken tremendous steps to protect our environment and preserve our state’s natural beauty. I believe that if we work together, we can end our reliance on single-use plastics and ensure a greener future for our kids.”
“Through this Executive Order and the establishment of the Task Force to Tackle Plastics, we will collaborate with all stakeholders – environmental advocates, industry, large retailers and small businesses, communities, municipalities, the General Assembly and state agencies – and innovate for sustainable solutions, technologies, and alternatives to enable consumers and businesses to change their behavior,” Raimondo added.
The members of the prospective task force will be appointed by the governor. The group begins its work no later than Sept. 17, per the executive order, and is expected to issue recommendations to the governor addressing the “use, reuse and clean-up of plastics in Rhode Island” on or about Feb. 18, 2019. Per the order, this direction will include, but not be limited to:
- Encouraging the financial and market factors necessary to support reduction in and recycling of plastics.
- Developing non-regulatory recognition and incentive programs, as well as potential legislation and/or regulations, and other measures to eliminate the sources of plastic pollution.
- Supporting and building upon the Zero Plastics Initiative and our existing, successful recycling programs.
- Educating Rhode Islanders on the importance of and means to reducing and recycling plastics.