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Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey bans single-use plastic bottle purchases by state agencies, setting a national precedent.

In a groundbreaking move, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey has declared the prohibition of the procurement of single-use plastic bottles by state agencies. This announcement, made during the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting, marks the initiation of the first ban of its kind in the United States, setting a precedent in the nation's fight against plastic pollution.

Governor Healey emphasized the government's duty and opportunity to pave a more sustainable path forward, highlighting the urgent need to cease contributing to the ongoing environmental damage. Alongside this, she revealed plans to institute executive orders to establish biodiversity objectives for the upcoming decades, targeting milestones in 2030, 2040, and 2050. The governor underscored the critical role of seas and forests as vital climate resources, expressing a firm resolve to safeguard them.

While this is a pioneering step at the federal level, efforts to curb plastic usage are not new in the country. Several states and cities have already imposed restrictions on various single-use plastic items, including bags, straws, and take-out packaging. Notably, over 20 municipalities in Massachusetts have instituted limitations on single-use bottles.

The executive orders will be the first ban on plastic bottles in the country, though other states and municipalities have put in restrictions on other forms of single use plastics.

California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia each have laws either banning or requiring a charge for single-use plastic bags.

According to USA Today, this decisive action comes amidst alarming reports indicating a sharp and "unprecedented" surge in oceanic plastic pollution, with recent studies revealing the presence of an astonishing 170 trillion plastic particles in the oceans. The 5 Gyres Institute, which published the findings, also noted a simultaneous decline in effective regulatory measures, highlighting a pressing need for robust policies to counter the menace of plastic pollution.

Governor Healey acknowledged the magnitude of the challenge, asserting that collaborative efforts transcending political boundaries are imperative to protect the environment. She urged for a united front in the battle against plastic pollution, emphasizing that the natural world does not adhere to political divisions, and neither should the endeavors to preserve it. This move by Massachusetts signals a determined stride towards a greener future, fostering hope for more comprehensive policies in the forthcoming years.

Eunice is a sustainability writer whose passion is sharing accessible eco-friendly practices with GreenCitizen's global readership. She enjoys birdwatching during her downtime, often deriving inspiration from nature's resilience. An enthusiastic cyclist, she is also an ardent advocate of eco-friendly transport.

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