We’re excited to announce that Vermont just enacted the best single-use plastics law in the nation!
VPIRG has been leading the charge for bold legislation to address plastic pollution, and now Governor Phil Scott has responded by signing S.113, which represents the toughest anti-plastics legislation yet on the statewide level.
S.113 bans troublesome plastic carryout bags and imposes a 10-cent fee on most single-use paper bags to encourage reusable bag use. It also bans plastic drink stirrers and expanded polystyrene food service products and makes straws available upon request in most establishments. Finally, it sets up a working group to develop ideas for next steps to address plastic pollution.
Vermont’s new law comes none too soon. Thanks to decades of unchecked consumption, plastics waste can now be found everywhere from the middle of Lake Champlain to within our own digestive tracts. Items like plastic bags, straws, and Styrofoam food containers have a useful life of just minutes, but can last in the environment for 500 years or more, choking waterways, killing wildlife, and threatening human health.
The impact of our throwaway culture on environmental health is undeniable, but the production of single-use plastic products isn’t slowing down; half of all the plastic ever made was produced in just the last 15 years. The truth is that we’ve made a mess that we can’t recycle our way out of. The only solution is bold legislative action – like S.113.
While the new law represents the most comprehensive single-use plastics ban in the nation, it only begins to scratch the surface of the vast plastic pollution crisis. From eliminating unnecessary packaging to modernizing Vermont’s Bottle Bill, there’s a lot more we need to do. To learn more about VPIRG’s campaign to stop single-use plastics, visit https://www.vpirg.org/stop-single-use-plastics/.