Lawmakers seeking to ban single-use plastic items in RI

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) —  Rhode Island’s Senate Environment and Agriculture Committee will hear legislation Monday relating to plastic waste, specifically giving up single-use plastic item permanently. 

If signed into law, they could change how Rhode Islanders shop, recycle or even drink iced coffee.

The first bill, introduced by Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey, relates to plastic straws. It would prohibit a food service establishment from providing a single-use plastic straw unless requested by the consumer. 

The second bill comes from senator Joshua Miller, which would prohibit retail sales establishments from providing plastic checkout bags. It would also aim to put an end to polystyrene foam disposable food containers. 

Senate President Dominick Ruggerio will introduce the “Plastic Waste Reduction Act,” that encourages retailers to offer recyclable bag options, and would provide penalties for violations.

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