After a veto by then-Gov. Matt Mead at the close of the 2018 budget session, legislation that would create criminal charges for impeding fossil fuel facilities and pipelines during protests is back in the Wyoming Legislature.
Similar in scope to bills introduced in statehouses across the country following the Dakota Access pipeline protests, Rep. Lloyd Larsen’s Crimes Against Critical Infrastructure bill was written with numerous fixes to address questions raised last year.
However, critics told lawmakers at a packed committee hearing Monday that the bill would still restrict people’s lawful right to protest.
The aim of the directive, which is part of the European Plastics Strategy, is to protect the environment and reduce marine litter by avoiding the emission of 3.4 million tonnes of CO2. However, it should be noted the importance of the economic benefits that the new regulation will bring: the directive may avoid environmental damages which would cost the equivalent of €22 billion ($24.9 billion) by 2030 and save consumers a projected €6.5 billion ($7.38 billion).
…The measures discussed are closely related to the latest estimates on marine litter, according to the European Commission, plastics make up 85% of beach litter, which is causing catastrophic consequences on the environment. The organization WWF has already pointed out the dramatic effects that the excessive use of plastics, poor management of waste and mass tourism are having in the Mediterranean Sea, the most visited sea in Europe.
…The new rules aim to stop the use of throwaway plastic products and packaging for which alternatives exist and is focused on the most frequently found items polluting European seas: plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons, and chopsticks), plastic plates, plastic straws, cotton bud sticks made of plastic, beverage and food containers made of expanded polystyrene (such as fast food and takeaway boxes), and products made from oxo-degradable plastic, which contributes to microplastic pollution. According to the European Commission, together these products constitute 70% of all marine litter items.
…The global production of plastics has not stopped to increase since 1960. According to the European Commission, in 2015 the global production reached 322 million tonnes and it is expected to double over the next 20 years. In Europe, around 25.8 million tonnes of plastic waste is generated every year and less than 30% of such waste is collected for recycling.
The ordinance’s lead author City Councilmember Sophie Hahn said in a statement, “Single-use disposable foodware is a local and global problem, one with enormous financial and environmental costs.”
….”Most of the single-use plastic foodware has no value in today’s recycling markets. With China’s ban on importing plastic scrap, cities are actually paying to get rid of it.”
Bourque said, “We cannot recycle our way out of the disposable foodware problem. We have to focus on reduction.”
Upstream Policy Director Miriam Gordon said, “Our throw-away culture is leading to a proliferation of plastics in our food, air, and drinking water, which threatens human health and all ocean life. Disposable food packaging is the biggest contributor to the problem.”
The 29-year-old New York Democrat, who was raised Catholic, retweeted a story about Sanders’ remarks and cited the Bible in her counterargument.
“‘Genesis 1: God looked on the world & called it good not once, not twice, but seven times. Genesis 2: God commands all people to “serve and protect” creation. Leviticus: God mandates that not only the people, but the land that sustains them, shall be respected,'” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
She went on: “You shouldn’t need a Bible to tell you to protect our planet, but it does anyway.”
Cool. Hopefully more coastal communities follow suit.