The Governor’s Task Force to Tackle Plastics held their first meeting on Friday to “develop a host of options to reduce plastic pollution in Rhode Island’s waters and reliance on single-use plastics.” Co-chairs Dale Venturini, President of the Rhode Island Hospitality Association and Johnathan Berard, State Director of Clean Water Action began with ground rules and introductions for the 23 member task force. Only Rhode Island State Senate Minority Leader Dennis Algiere (Republican, District 38, Westerly, Charlestown) and the unnamed member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives were not in attendance.

Here’s the video:

Terrence Gray, deputy director of environmental protection for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) introduced the task force to the problem of plastics. “Virtually every piece of plastic that has ever existed still exists in some form,” said Gray.  It takes as much as 500 years for plastic to break down.

“Recycling is not really the solution,” said Gray. “We only recover and reuse about five percent of the plastics that are generated right now.”

Jamie Rhodes, program director for UPSTREAM, a nonprofit that works on systemic solutions to plastic waste issues said that there is no one way to eliminate plastic waste. He urged the task force to come up with creative solutions.

Here’s the wrap-up.

The next meeting of the Governor’s Task Force to Tackle Plastics will be at 9am on November 14. The location has yet to be set.


Governor Raimondo announces co-chairs and members of Task Force to Tackle Plastics

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Greg Gerritt

If we stoop making plastics, then we can leave more of the oil in the ground sooner.