Bill Text: NJ SCR135 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Urges cooperative approach among all levels of government to provide funding and other resources to clean up plastic pollution.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 2-1)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-02-14 - Reported out of Assembly Committee, 2nd Reading [SCR135 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-SCR135-Introduced.html

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 135

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 17, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  LINDA R. GREENSTEIN

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Urges cooperative approach among all levels of government to provide funding and other resources to clean up plastic pollution.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Concurrent Resolution respectfully urging all levels of government to take action to remove plastic from the State waters.

 

Whereas, Global annual plastics production increased from two million tons in 1950 to 381 million tons in 2015; and

Whereas, Single-use plastics are defined as plastic packaging and other consumer products made out of plastic that are designed to be used once and thrown away after a brief use; and

Whereas, Single-use plastics include bottles, cups, plastic lids, bags, plates, utensils, straws, stirrers, swabs, food containers, plastic film wraps, and plastic packaging; and

Whereas, Americans purchase 50 billion water bottles per year, with an average of 13 bottles per month per person; and

Whereas, Additionally, 100 billion plastic bags and 25 billion styrofoam plastic coffee cups are thrown away by Americans each year, which averages to 307 plastic bags and 77 cups per person per year; and

Whereas, Not all single-use plastic waste reaches landfills or is recycled; and

Whereas, New Jersey's current post-consumer plastics recycling rates vary between six to nine percent, although, some calculations indicate recycling rates maybe around 13 percent; and

Whereas, Single-use plastic waste creates visual pollution and impacts tourism, fishing, and shipping industries; and

Whereas, Mismanaged single-use plastic blocks drainage systems, releases toxic fumes if burned, becomes land pollution, and contaminates the food chain; and

Whereas, Further, unrecycled plastics are disposed of in landfills, dumpsites, or incinerators, or end up in waterways and oceans where they will remain for hundreds or even thousands of years; and

Whereas, The United Nations Environment Program reports that the more than eight million tons of plastics that ends up in lakes and oceans each year is equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic every minute; and

Whereas, Furthermore, plastics released in the environment typically do not biodegrade, but instead break into smaller pieces, called microplastics, which accumulate in the natural environment; and

Whereas, There are multiple environmental concerns associated with microplastics in surface waters; and

Whereas, There is evidence that microplastic pollution can move through natural food webs and accumulate in fin fish and shellfish tissues, which means microplastics and associated pollutants have the potential to move into the human food chain; and

Whereas, The presence of plastics in surface waters is extensively documented in both freshwater systems and in the world's oceans; and

Whereas, It is imperative that all levels of government work together to clean up plastics from our fresh waterbodies, oceans, and other marine waters in order to protect the environment and public health; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey (the General Assembly concurring):

 

     1.    The Legislature of this State respectfully urges all levels of government to take cooperative action, including providing funding and other resources, to remove plastic from the State waters in order to decrease the amount of plastic entering into marine waters and ultimately into human food chains. 

 

     2.    Copies of this Resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly or the Secretary of the Senate to the Administrator or the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Governor and Attorney General of the State of New Jersey, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, every member of Congress elected from the State of New Jersey, the President of the New Jersey Conference of Mayors, and the President of the League of Municipalities.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This resolution respectfully urges all levels of government to take cooperative action, including providing funding and other resources, to remove plastic from the State waters in order to decrease the amount of plastic entering into marine waters and ultimately into human food chains.

     Global annual plastics production increased from two million tons in 1950 to 381 million tons in 2015.  Single-use plastics are defined as plastic packaging and other consumer products made out of plastic that are designed to be used once and thrown away after a brief use.  Single-use plastics include bottles, cups, plastic lids, bags, plates, utensils, straws, stirrers, swabs, food containers, plastic film wraps, and plastic packaging.  Americans purchase 50 billion water bottles per year, with an average of 13 bottles per month per person.  Additionally, 100 billion plastic bags and 25 billion styrofoam plastic coffee cups are thrown away by Americans each year, which averages to 307 plastic bags and 77 cups per person per year.  Not all single use plastic waste reaches landfills or are recycled.  New Jersey's current post-consumer plastics recycling rates vary between six to nine percent, although, some calculations indicate recycling rates may be around 13 percent.  

     Single-use plastic waste creates visual pollution and impacts tourism, fishing, and shipping industries.  Mismanaged single-use plastic blocks drainage systems, releases toxic fumes if burned, becomes land pollution, and contaminates the food chain.  Further, unrecycled plastics are disposed of in landfills, dumpsites, or incinerators, or end up in waterways and oceans where they will remain for hundreds or even thousands of years. 

     The United Nations Environment Program reports that the more than eight million tons of plastics that ends up in lakes and oceans each year is equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic every minute.  Furthermore, plastics released in the environment typically do not biodegrade, but instead break into smaller pieces, called microplastics, which accumulate in the natural environment.  There are multiple environmental concerns associated with microplastics in surface waters.  There is evidence that microplastic pollution can move through natural food webs and accumulate in fin fish and shellfish tissues, which means microplastics and associated pollutants have the potential to move into the human food chain.  The presence of plastics in surface waters is extensively documented in both freshwater systems and in the world's oceans.  It is imperative that all levels of government work together to clean up plastics from our fresh waterbodies, oceans, and other marine waters in order to protect the environment and public health.

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