Keep plastic out of Narragansett Bay
Plastic bags litter Narragansett Bay and threaten marine and coastal wildlife—and this trash could stay in the Bay for hundreds of years. We’re urging Rhode Island's leaders to protect the Bay by banning plastic bags in Rhode Island.
Hundreds of millions of plastic bags
Rhode Islanders use hundreds of millions of disposable plastic bags every year—most of which we use only once, for the few minutes it takes us to get home from the store. Even when they make their way to landfills, these bags often end up getting carried by the wind into Narragansett Bay and our parks, beaches and rivers.
Marine environment in danger
Too many plastic bags end up as litter in Narragansett Bay and off our coast, and it's creating an ecological disaster:
- Turtles, whales and other marine animals that pass through Rhode Island waters often mistake plastic bags for food, which can cause them to starve or choke to death. They can also get entangled in bags and drown or die of suffocation.
- Adult seabirds inadvertently feed small pieces of plastic to their chicks, often causing them to die when their stomachs become filled with plastic.
- As plastic bags break down into smaller fragments, fish and quahogs are vulnerable to the toxic pollutants they carry. Fish and clams are vital to the marine food chain and Rhode Island's economy.
Nothing we use for five minutes should pollute the Bay for hundreds of years
Because they do not biodegrade, plastic from bags remains in our waters for hundreds of years, perhaps longer. Nothing we use for just five minutes should pollute Narragansett Bay for hundreds of years, spoiling its waters with trash and endangering the wildlife we treasure and depend on.
It’s time for Rhode Island to ban plastic bags
Luckily, the solution is simple: lawmakers can make Rhode Island an environmental leader by banning these plastic bags.We won our first victory for the Bay in the fall, when Barrington became the first Rhode Island municipality to ban the bag. If enough of us speak out, we’re can to build on that momentum and ban the bag statewide.
We helped ban plastic bags locally in Barrington, and now we’re working in other places in Rhode Island that are considering similar steps. With a statewide bill headed to the legislature in its next session, this is the chance for Rhode Island to be the first to ban plastic bags at a state level.
Join our campaign today to ban plastic bags: Send your legislature a message today!
Tell your state and local decision-makers to keep plastic out of Narragansett Bay.
- Plastic debris kill millions of sea turtles, sea birds and marine mammals each year.
- Plastic trash never biodegrades, but just breaks apart into countless tiny fragments.
- Plastic bits ingested by fish and clams can carry toxic pollutants like DDT and PCB.
- Bans throughout Rhode Island could keep hundreds of millions of plastic bags out of our waste stream every year.
- We helped Barrington ban plastic bags locally, and we helped get a state bag ban introduced in the General Assembly. We can keep building momentum to pass the bill and ban the bag statewide in Rhode Island.