(RICHMOND, VA)—Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam today released an executive order requiring the phase-out of single-use plastics by state government agencies, including all state universities and colleges. The directive is broad, focusing on disposable plastic bags, single-use plastic and polystyrene food containers, plastic straws and utensils, and single-use plastic water bottles, unless they are for medical or public safety use. Virginia state agencies will also develop a report on recommendations for reducing waste and diverting it from landfills.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Virginia Executive Director Peggy Sanner issued this statement.
“Plastic litter is a blight on our landscape and an ongoing tragedy for our rivers and the Chesapeake Bay, where it chokes the life from fish and marine mammals and breaks down into harmful microplastics that threaten wildlife up and down the food chain.
“Plastic litter is one of the most visible and pernicious forms of pollution, but Governor Northam’s Executive Order 77 shows that we can take steps to address this problem.
“We are grateful to the governor for his leadership in the effort to rid our waterways of this bane by phasing out single-use plastics in government agencies and requiring a searching review of how to reduce the vast quantities of waste that currently goes to landfills. This executive order ensures that Virginia will be a leader in this effort.”