Massachusetts is slated to become the first state in the nation to ban state agencies from purchasing single-use plastic bottles, Democratic Gov. Maura Healey announced at a climate change event.
"In government, we have an obligation to stop contributing to this damage and chart a better path forward," Healey said Monday in New York City, according to the Boston Globe. "So we are proud to become the first state to adopt a procurement ban on single-use plastic bottles."
Healey delivered a keynote speech Monday for the Clinton Global Initiative during New York’s "Climate Week" and announced she would be signing an executive order later this week banning state agencies from purchasing single-use plastic bottles. The governor said the plan is intended to help protect oceans and the climate.
"We know that plastic waste, plastic production are among the leading threats to our oceans, our climate and environmental justice. In government, we have an obligation – we also have an opportunity – to not only stop contributing to this damage, but to chart a better path forward," Healey said.
"In our coastal state, we know climate change is our biggest threat. We also believe that taking action is our greatest opportunity, an opportunity to secure a safe, prosperous and sustainable future."
Americans use roughly 50 billion single-serve plastic water bottles per year, with an estimated 29% actually being recycled, NBC Boston reported citing the Sierra Club.
Some Massachusetts towns, such as Concord, have already banned single-use plastic bottles and single-use plastic shopping bags in stores.
With Healey’s signature, the Bay State will become the first in the nation to outright ban the drinking bottles for state agencies. Some in the legislature previously attempted to pass bills that would restrict the bottles for state agencies, but the legislation was held up in committees without ever landing in front of lawmakers for a vote, NBC Boston reported.
Healey has been in office less than a year, and detailed at the Clinton Global Initiative – which is typically attended by global and national climate activists – that her administration will instruct state agencies to organize biodiversity conservation goals for 2030, 2040 and 2050.
She is expected to sign the executive order on Thursday, when she will explain the ban in more detail, the Boston Globe reported. The ban will take immediate effect.