Cape Fear River Watch joins call to Gov. Cooper to reduce single use plastics in state agencies
The group wants Gov. Cooper to use executive action to reduce plastic waste in NC
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Environmental advocacy groups, including the Cape Fear River Watch, are calling on Governor Cooper to take executive action to reduce plastic waste in North Carolina.
The North Carolina Plastic Waste Reduction Coalition, run by statewide public interest advocacy group, NCPIRG, includes a variety of national, state, and local organizations.
“Plastic has detrimental effects on our health and environment from cradle to grave,” said NCPIRG State Director Katie Craig in a news release. “There is no reason that something we use for just a few minutes like a plastic bag or styrofoam take out container, should be able to threaten our environment, wildlife, and health for hundreds of years.”
This past week, the coalition began calling on Governor Cooper to take action at the executive level.
Environmental advocates are hosting educational events for local activists, generating phone calls and emails into the Governor’s office, and holding local clean up actions across the state.
This past weekend their clean up efforts resulted in more than 4,700 pieces of litter being collected. The group says more than 80% of the litter was either plastic or polystyrene (commonly known as styrofoam).
Over half of the litter documented came from Cape Fear River Watch’s cleanup in Wilmington. The CFRW said they cleaned up 2,406 items of litter. Nearly 1,900 pieces were plastic of some kind. They say that the most common types of plastic found included food wrappers, plastic bottles, and plastic grocery or retail bags.
“Every day, our state government agencies contribute to the tons of plastic ‘stuff’ that gets tossed out in North Carolina. All of this waste not only clogs our landfills, trashes our parks and litter our streets, but it also washes into our rivers and oceans, where it can harm wildlife and even our own health,” said Cape Fear Riverkeeper Kemp Burdette. “Governor Cooper has been a great environmental advocate for the last 5 years, and now is his chance to continue that legacy.”
The coalition also points to Virginia’s recent executive order by now former Governor Northam, as an example of what’s possible in North Carolina and how our state government can lead the way on this issue.
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