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Statement: Gov. Younkin takes step backwards on plastics

For Immediate Release

RICHMOND, Va -- Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Executive Order 17 to repeal a previous ban on single use plastics in state agencies and shift the administration’s focus towards recycling.

Elly Boehmer, state director of Environment Virginia, issued the following statement: 

“Gov. Youngkin’s Executive Order 17 is disappointing. While it is important that we address food waste and improve recycling, we must first reduce our single-use plastic consumption – and this executive order swings and misses by undoing the previous administration’s ban on single-use plastics in our state agencies, state parks and public colleges and universities. 

“Single-use plastics are difficult and costly to recycle and most commonly end up as littered items strewn across our environment. No matter how much bluster we’ve heard otherwise, we have seen that we cannot recycle our way out of this issue without decreasing our plastic usage. 

“We are disappointed in this step backwards. We urge state agencies, state parks and colleges and universities to remain single-use plastics free while also examining ways to reduce food waste. And we hope to work with the administration to improve recycling in Virginia through proven solutions like a bottle bill or a ‘producer pays’ framework.”