Get Rid of Single-Use Plastic Bags in Providence.

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As a Providence voter :
1. I urge you to pass legislation banning stores from giving out single-use plastic bags.
2. I am willing to bring my own reusable bags when I shop.
3. If I forget my own bags when I shop, I am willing to pay for bags made of paper or reusable materials.
4. I support a policy that commits to providing free access to reusable bags for residents in need.

Plastic pollutes.
 
Plastic waste fills up Rhode Island’s landfill.
Millions of birds and marine animals die each year from eating plastic. They confuse plastic for their food. Once eaten, plastic poisons them and chokes them. Other animals get tangled in plastic waste and drown.
Burning plastic also creates carbon emissions, contributing to climate change.
 
Single-use plastic bags are a big part of this problem. According to the Earth Policy Institute, the world uses 2 million plastic bags each minute.
Plastic bags are not recyclable.
Plastic bags also contaminate recycling loads, which are then diverted into the landfill, costing the Rhode Island taxpayers more money.
Using reusable bags means fewer pieces of plastic in our neighborhoods, less pollution overall, and more money in your pocket.
 
All over the the USA and the world, communities are banning plastic bags and it is time that Providence, as Rhode Island's capital city, does, too.  Our proposed  law is based on the most effective of those experiences. It would promote the use of reusable bags by prohibiting single-use plastic bags and require retailers to charge ten cents per paper or reusable bag.  This helps customers remember their bags and compensates stores for providing more expensive bags to consumers, if needed.  The plastic bag ordinance would be phased in over time to allow for more community outreach and distribution of free reusable bags to those in need.
 
Getting rid of plastic bags improves the health of people, wildlife, and our planet.



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