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Less plastic — our testimony on HB 1085

Ranae Hanson submitted the following testimony to the Senate Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee:

My name is Ranae Hanson; I live in the 43rd District. I am writing on behalf of Quaker Voice on Washington Public Policy in support of SHB 1085, Reducing Plastic Pollution.

We support this bill both for environmental and equity reasons. Plastic has unleashed a myriad of problems on the planet and on humans, particularly on those who are most vulnerable – children and the economically-disadvantaged. All the plastic ever produced is still with us on earth, either in the air, in the water, or in our soil. Instead of going away, it breaks down into smaller and smaller bits. Invisible particles are the most harmful to human and other non-human lives because they are ingested through eating and breathing. We are only now beginning to understand the far-reaching harms of plastic to health. Catastrophes like the recent derailment in Pennsylvania show us that the chemicals used to make plastic are equally harmful.

This bill moves us along a better path by taking away three sources of plastic pollution in Washington. Removing some single-use plastic water bottles by requiring water-bottle filling stations in new commercial buildings where drinking fountains are required is a relatively easy step. Phasing out some small plastic containers for personal health and beauty products in lodging establishments will get rid of plastic that cannot be recycled and, eventually, will save money for those lodging establishments. Disallowing thin-walled or soft-shell floating plastic foam structures will begin to protect marine and shoreline environments from small and microplastic pollution.

We commend the respectful bi-partisan cooperation that accompanied this bill through the House and urge speedy action to move this legislation through the Senate.


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