In a bold move to combat climate change, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey announced a ban on single-use plastic bottles for state agencies on Monday morning. The announcement was made at The Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, where Healey spoke about the urgent need for action against plastic waste and production.
Healey, a Democrat, cited the devastating effects of plastic on the environment, particularly on the oceans and climate. “We know that plastic waste, plastic production are among the leading threats to our oceans, our climate, and environmental justice,” Healey stated. “In government, we have an obligation — we also have an opportunity — to not only stop contributing to this damage but to chart a better path forward.”
The governor’s decision to ban single-use plastic bottles comes amidst the dual crises of illegal immigration and rising drug overdoses in the state. However, Healey remains committed to tackling the pressing issue of climate change, which she believes is the biggest threat facing the coastal state.
This ban is not the first action taken by Healey in the fight against climate change. Last month, she announced millions in taxpayer funding towards green energy projects and jobs in “environmental justice” communities, which she described as areas with low-income households, minority populations, and limited English proficiency.
Critics have pointed out that the governor’s use of the term “environmental justice” is often associated with the race-based redistribution of wealth. In fact, the criteria to qualify for “environmental justice” communities in Massachusetts include having an annual median household income of 65 percent or less of the statewide median household income and having a significant proportion of the minority population.
Healey, however, remains focused on securing a “safe, prosperous, and sustainable future” for the state. She also called on her peers at the CGI to take action against climate change, urging them to join her in this fight.
While Healey’s decision to ban single-use plastic bottles has been met with some criticism, many are applauding her for taking a step in the right direction. The move is hoped to encourage individuals and organizations to reduce their plastic use and promote a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Some have questioned the irony of Healey’s announcement, given that many of the attendees at the CGI likely arrived via private jets, which contribute significantly to carbon emissions. However, the governor’s ban on plastic bottles is seen as a significant step towards prioritizing the health of the planet and setting an example for others to follow.