STRAWS: Among the new RI laws that went into effect this month is one designed to limit the use of plastic straws: Bars and restaurants can no longer provide single-use plastic straws unless a customer specifically asks for one. (Anyone wondering why people get so worked up about these plastic straws has clearly not seen the sea turtle video.) Reduction is the only way forward: The recycling program turned out to be a cynical diversion perpetrated by the plastics industry and anyway, China has stopped buying our used plastic. We need to address this problem if only out of enlightened self-interest: We sit atop the food chain ingesting these microplastics which are now in your children’s food and tap water.
For example, seafood was estimated to have 1.48 microplastic particles per gram. The recommended weekly seafood intake for young men is 281 grams per week. So according to this, that person would be eating about 414 microplastic particles from seafood alone.
NIPS: A new law aimed at controlling plastic in the environment (as well as drunk driving etc.) is being introduced by Rep. David Bennett (D-Warwick). From the ProJo:
House Bill 706-4 would ban the sale of “any sealable bottle, can, jar, or carton” that holds less than 100 milliliters of alcohol.
. . .
Anecdotally, however, “nips are one of the most commonly seen forms of pollution and litter in Rhode Island,” said Topher Hamblett, advocacy director for Save The Bay. “There’s no question about it.”
Clean Ocean Access, which conducts shoreline cleanups on Aquidneck Island, keeps detailed tallies of the garbage that its volunteers pick up. Since 2013, they’ve collected more than 3,000 nip bottles, according to Dave McLaughlin, the group’s founder and program director.
They are everywhere. So big thanks to Rep. Bennett as well as these folks.
The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Carol Hagan McEntee, Kathleen A. Fogarty, Deborah Ruggiero, Terri Cortvriend, Lauren Carson, Mia Ackerman, Marvin Abney and John G. Edwards. All are Democrats.
The Rhode Island liquor lobby is depressingly influential, make sure your reps know you support this bill.
(Learn about the tragedy of the Midway Atoll: CNN in “Plastic Island.”)
Reusable glass straws — with cotton cleaning wand — are available at Frog & Toad on Hope Street.