Governor Northam signs single-use plastic ban

Consumer choice advocate weighs in

Governor Northam signs single-use plastic ban
Executive Order 77 aims to prevent single-use plastic waste at universities and state agencies. (Source: wvir)

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed an executive order banning single-use plastics at state agencies to help decrease pollution. One advocacy worker says this action may cause more harm than good.

“Alternatives to single-use plastics aren’t always environmentally advantageous. They’re not always better for the environment, in comparison to single-use plastic items,” said North American Sales Manager for Consumer Choice Center David Clement.

Clement adds the order is heavy-handed and overlooks the more viable solution of recycling or breaking down and re-claiming plastics to be used again.

“There are innovative examples from across North America where scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs are taking these problematic plastics, they are altering their chemical bonds and then repurposing them into resin pellets, into tiles for your home, into high-strength graffing which is used in construction. And there are even examples where they fused these repurposed plastics with bitumen and turned them into highly durable roadways,” Clement said. “So this approach empowers innovation to solve the issue of plastic waste, it creates jobs and it does it while protecting the environment.”

Clement adds Northam has signed an advanced recycling bill into law to address this alternative, and the ban will not affect privately owned spaces like grocery stores.

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