State agencies in the U.S. state of Massachusetts will no longer be allowed to buy single-use plastic bottles, the state Governor Maura Healey said on Monday during a keynote speech at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York.
She said the procurement ban takes effect ‘immediately’, writing on X, formerly Twitter, that ‘plastics are one of the biggest threats to our oceans’. Massachusetts is the first U.S. state to bans its agencies from purchasing single-use plastic bottles.
According to reports from local media The Boston Globe, Massachusetts state agencies buy roughly 100,000 plastic bottles a year, a drop in the ocean compared to nearly 3.4 billion plastic bottles sold in the state in 2019, according to data from California-based Container Recycling Institute. Nevertheless, Governor Healey sees the measure as a way to lead by example. “In government, we can chart a better path forward, and Massachusetts is proud to lead the way,” she wrote on X.
The measure was introduced alongside a direction for all state agencies to create biodiversity conversation goals for 2030, 2040, and 2050, without providing further details. Both measures are intended to protect Massachusetts’ biodiversity, which as a costal state is particularly exposed to marine plastic debris.
The New England state has had measures to reduce plastic bottle pollution for a long time. It’s “Bottle Bill” took effect in January 1983, making it one of the first Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) laws of its kind in the United States. Under the bill, there is a $0.05 deposit on carbonated soda drinks, beer, malt beverages, and sparkling water containers sold in the state. Consumers can return clean, empty deposit bottles and cans to a retailer that sells them for a full deposit refund, or to a redemption centre for a fee.
I’ll also sign an Executive Order to ban the purchase of single-use plastic bottles by state agencies, effective immediately.— Maura Healey (@MassGovernor) September 18, 2023
Plastics are one of the biggest threats to our oceans. In government, we can chart a better path forward, and Massachusetts is proud to lead the way.