Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today commended the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch for reducing plastic waste, including from plastic straws, and for including his report language request. That language encourages the elimination of all single-use plastic products including lightweight plastic carryout bags, food and drinkware from expanded polystyrene, plastic stirrers and plastic utensils. The House of Representatives is expected to consider this annual spending measure later this month.
Congressman Cohen made the following statement:
"The United States is currently drowning in mountains of single-use plastic waste. While it is certainly part of the federal government's duty to try to solve this mess by addressing our inadequate recycling infrastructure, there are steps Congress can take now to prevent this situation from becoming even worse. The easiest way to reduce plastic pollution is to reduce the volume of single-use plastics and other containers that are being used in the first place and subsequently clogging the recycling stream.
"The federal government has a responsibility to lead on this and other environmental issues, and in that context, the prevention of plastic waste is most easily accomplished by putting a stop to the federal procurement of these products wherever possible."
Congressman Cohen has long advocated limiting the use of single-use plastic utensils and was an original cosponsor of the introduced the Break Free from Plastics Pollution Act that was introduced in February.