EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — East Providence will soon become the 12th Rhode Island community to ban single-use plastic bags.
The ban is set to go into effect on Nov. 7 and will prohibit the number of plastic bags in retail stores. City officials are encouraging businesses to begin distributing reusable bags.
Councilwoman Anna Sousa proposed the ban back in May as an effort to curb litter, protect marine life and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and solid waste.
“A clean ocean and marine life are of the utmost importance for us in Rhode Island being that we are the Ocean State,” Sousa said. “Finally banning plastic bags is just one of many actions needed to protect our environment and the animals that live in it.”
Mayor Bob DaSilva said he’s in favor of the ban.
“Single-use plastic bags not only have a negative impact on our environment because they clog drains causing flooding and are the main component of landfill litter, but they also kill wildlife and cost cities millions in recycling fees,” DaSilva said.
Businesses who don’t comply with the ban will first receive a warning, followed by fines of up to $300 for repeat offenses.
Anyone who has questions about the ban can contact DaSilva’s office at (401) 435-7500.