Webinar discusses ways to ‘Build Back Better’ without single-use plastic

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Massachusetts lawmakers and activists called for better statewide plastic policies coming out of the pandemic


On Wednesday, Massachusetts groups including MASSPIRG, Community Action Works, Conservation Law Foundation,and Clean Water Action hosted a webinar on reducing single-use plastics and legislation to address the problem  More than 100 people attended the webinar and participated in a Facebook live event.

When the pandemic hit the country, the plastics industry pounced, claiming that single-use plastic was synonymous with hygiene. Not only has this been proven false, but now we have more plastic waste to contend with. 

For this reason, Reps. Marjorie Decker and Michelle Ciccolo appeared at the event to speak about their bills to reduce plastics, ban polystyrene, and update the bottle bill—all of which will reduce single use plastic and waste. Decker, the chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health, spoke passionately about the plastic industry’s harmful influence, stating that “…the plastics industry has really been able to create additional fears to make people believe [increased plastic use] was a health issue. The truth is that, when it comes to single use plastics, we are at the precipice of a public health crisis.” 

To combat this crisis, Decker filed an updated bottle bill, H3289, which will reduce beverage container waste, and House Bill 2263, which will restrict polystyrene, commonly referred to as styrofoam. 

Rep. Ciccolo spoke on the plastic bill she filed, H869, which restricts various types of single-use plastics from straws to plastic bags. Ciccolo along with Sen. Lewis co-founded the zero waste caucus in the state Legislature which has advocated for a variety of important environmental bills. 

The advocates hosting the webinar not only highlighted the problems with single-use plastics, but also conducted a brief training on how to advocate for bills in the state Legislature. While there is a long way to go before these bills become law, Massachusetts citizens are passionate about reducing plastic waste. One hundred and forty-four cities and towns in Massachusetts, representing over 60 percent of the population, have passed some form of single-use plastics ban.  

The recording of the event can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/ComActionWorks/videos/554955685553316/