News : Local Group Proposes Ordinance on Single-Use Plastics

Mar 10, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online.

By Mike Bizier

PORTSMOUTH - On February 3 the New Hampshire chapter of the Surfrider Foundation’s Rise Above Plastics (RAP) coalition proposed a reduction of single-use plastic bags to the Portsmouth City Council. The ordinance, which aims at reducing plastics pollution, is currently awaiting votes before it is brought before the council for final ruling.

Formed in 1984, the Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit, nation-wide organization aimed at protecting the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches, The New Hampshire chapter was formed in 2007 and is involved in monthly beach clean-ups, removing anywhere from 50-90 pounds of trash from the shoreline. In March 2013, the New Hampshire chapter formed the RAP coalition with several groups and businesses including Green Alliance, Zero Waste Portsmouth, Seacoast Science Center, Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, and The Gundalow Company. Both The Gundalow Company and the Blue Ocean Society are Business Partners with the Green Alliance, a union of businesses and consumers educating the public about the goods and services they use, and encourage more sustainable choices. The Green Alliance represents over 100 local green-leaning businesses and has put its weight behind the ordinance to reduce single-use plastic bags in Portsmouth and is using its bullhorn to educate and advocate around the issue.

The RAP committee, has made it their mission to pursue common sense solutions for reducing sources of plastic pollution in the marine environment. “Plastic pollution represents a great danger here on the seacoast,” says RAP committee member Kevin Lucey. “Plastic bags are not biodegradable, and plastic pollution in the ocean is not just a faraway problem. There are recent examples of sea animals dying from plastic bags and we believe that is unacceptable.” 

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here