The Plastic Waste Reduction Act passed by the Rhode Island General Assembly in the 2022 session and signed into law by Governor Dan McKee went into effect on January 1. The law bans retail establishments from providing single-use plastic bags to customers at the point of sale. Eighteen of 39 Rhode Island communities had already passed similar plastic-bag bans. The law ensures a uniform and consistent legal standard statewide on the retail use of plastic bags (view the regulations).
“Eliminating the retail distribution of single-use plastic bags helps prevent litter and plastic debris from entering Narragansett Bay and our local waters, which are central to the Ocean State’s environment, way of life, and economy,” said Terry Gray, Director of RI’s Dept. of Environmental Management. “A more sustainable world starts with all of us, and DEM remains committed to promoting sustainability throughout our programs and operations. We continue to develop a comprehensive strategy and implementation plan for sustainable materials management.”