Banning Plastics to Improve Our Environment
Senator Bob Smith (D) – NJ, Chair, Environment & Energy Committee, and Steve Adubato discuss the latest legislation seeking to ban plastics in NJ which includes: plastic straws, Styrofoam containers, and single use bags, and the positive impact this change will have for not only our environment, but for generations to come.
"We are pleased to be joined, once again at State of Affairs, by State Senator Bob Smith, Chairman of the Senate Environment Committee, Environment and Education Committee. Steve Adubato here at State of Affairs. By the way I say our name and our guest name a lot, it's because we're also heard on different platforms, sometimes you can't see us. Senator, let me ask you this. A lot of talk about plastics. What to do with plastics? You are one of the lead... you are the leader in that effort. What are we doing? On the 27th of September... We're taping just a little bit before that. But go ahead. Okay. We are having a committee meeting where we have a whole plastics legislative package for different bills, resolutions... What does it do? Well the big bill, and this is as a result of the Rutgers and Princeton University professors coming in and describing the real problem with plastics. We are going to ban, within a year of the enactment of the legislation, styrofoam food containers, cups, single use bags, straws, and potentially in the future, maybe even more. but that's... Whoa whoa. Back up. Sure. No more styrofoam cups? No more. No more straws? No more. No more single use... the only time you use this plastic bag once... out? Gone. The only exception being on straws, some disabled people need straws, and restaurants will be able to keep a small amount of straws for those people. How hard is that going to be to do? Actually, I don't think hard at all. You would be amazed, the level of support in the public of New Jersey, the citizens saying, "enough with the plastics." You know, every year, we have the beach cleanups by Clean Ocean Action. Oh yeah. And they report the huge quantities of plastics that are on our beaches. You look at the worldwide headlines, we literally have two more continents. It's not seven continents on the planet Earth, there's nine. there's one in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, all plastics. there's one in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, all plastics. We're killing sea life. But the real shocker at this Summer hearing in Toms River, we had the University professors come in, Princeton and Rutgers, and they said... one of them said, "this problem is as big as the global warming problem." This problem? This problem. And the reason why, the plastics are deteriorating into smaller and smaller and smaller particles, fish life is ingesting them, and it's not just in the ocean. It's also in the fresh waters..."