We’re seeing countries across the world starting to take the problems posed by single-use plastic bags more seriously, and the most recent news suggests that Maine could become the first state in New England to impose a complete ban.
Citing studies from environmentalists saying single-use plastic bags harm local wildlife and contribute to pollution, at least three lawmakers have reportedly proposed legislation to ban them. It’s no surprise when you look at the state at large – 20 towns and cities across Maine have approved either fees or outright bans, and several more are considering them. In fact, a survey conducted by the Retail Association of Maine indicates that 65% of members support a ban or fee.
Democratic State Rep. Nicole Grohoski is one of those three lawmakers leading the charge on proposed legislation. In her own words: “There will always be people who are challenged by change, but I do feel positive momentum on this issue.”
We’ve traditionally seen such single-use plastic bag bans driven by environmental concerns, but financial issues are becoming increasingly forceful. A Chinese ban has made importing many types of waste (including single-use plastic bags) impossible, so many areas in the US have been forced to struggle with their own plastic bag recycling efforts.
As most people already know, such efforts often prove fruitless. As summed up by Sarah Lakeman, the Sustainable Maine project director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine: “The plastics issue is a huge one people are finally opening their eyes to. A product that will never degrade shouldn’t be used for a purpose lasting only moments.”
Maine is far from the only state to consider a ban. California enacted the country’s first state-wide ban on single-use plastic bags in 2016, and politicians from New York and New Jersey have announced plans to follow their lead.
We’re thrilled as ever to report on people across the globe turning away from single-use plastic bags. If you’d like to join that growing trend, why not check out some of our own eco-friendly bagging options?