Scare Tactics Will Not Derail Plastics Reduction Bill in Albany

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Our world is drowning in more and more single-use plastic packaging. It’s excess packaging that none of us asked for and which can be replaced with reusable and recyclable packaging.

Lucky for us, a transformative bill has been introduced in the state legislature by Sen. Peter Harckham (D-Lewisboro) and Assemblywoman Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan), which would help solve the problem of plastic pollution.

Sen. Harckham’s bill would require companies to reduce plastic packaging by 50 percent over 12 years, phase out the most toxic chemicals used in consumer packaging such as PFAS and vinyl chloride and place a modest fee on packaging so that its producers pay for waste disposal and recycling rather than taxpayers. And it gets better. The bill would not allow risky “chemical recycling” to count as real recycling.

The bill is strongly supported by environmental groups, local governments across Westchester County and the League of Women Voters and garden clubs.

The reason why I think the bill is getting close to passage is because a peculiar ad recently ran in The Examiner, which falsely claimed that if adopted the bill will “ruin the summer BBQ season.” This is not true, and if you read the fine print, you see that the ad was paid for by the American Chemistry Council, which is made up of giant chemical producers.

Residents of Westchester and Putnam counties should be proud to have a senator like Pete Harckham who is putting the health of his constituents and the health of our planet ahead of the scare tactics by the chemical industry.

Judith Enck
Poestenkill, N.Y.
Former EPA Regional Administrator
President of Beyond Plastics

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