Portsmouth Bans Single-Use Plastics

You might have missed this recent headline amidst the craziness of December: Portsmouth high school students convinced city council to continue with a proposed city-wide single-use plastics ban, beginning in 2021. The council had intended to put off the ban for another two years, but students from the Eco Club collected over 225 signatures protesting the delay and the government listened.

Image Credit: NHPR

Aside from being a wonderful example of how a few invested

individuals can make a big change, Portsmouth’s ban, which will be enforced starting in September of this year, is a much-needed example for our state and country. To read the exact policy, visit this site.

Phase out of lightweight plastic bags around the world
Phase out of lightweight plastic bags around the world (laws passed but not yet in effect are not shown on map). Source
Green – Plastic bags banned
  Yellow – A charge on some plastic bags
  Red – Voluntary charge agreement
  Purple – Partial charge or ban (municipal or regional levels)

Portsmouth joins a growing number of cities, states, and countries enacting single-use plastic bans. Canada will ban single-use plastics and begin a circular plastic economy starting next year and the European Union’s single-use plastics ban will also go into effect this year. To learn more about creating a circular plastics economy, read the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Breaking the Plastics Wave.

Credit: https://globalpossibilities.org/how-concerned-is-your-us-region-with-plastic-pollution/

Where does New Hampshire stand on this issue? In May of 2019, the New Hampshire senate killed a House-supported bill to ban single-use plastics and straws. During Covid, Governor Sununu actually forced shoppers to use plastics bags for a time, but that has been reversed. So, we’re not doing so great here in the Granite State. But with Portsmouth leading the way, hopefully that will change.

Concerned? Write to your representative about this issue. We need to show our government that we care! Meanwhile, here are some ways to avoid single-use plastics in your life.

– Hannah

Title Photo credit: Vermont Audubon

How are you learning to live without plastics?

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