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Massachusetts Leaps Forward in Plastic Pollution Reduction Policies

The state of Massachusetts took a major leap forward yesterday, as Gov. Maura Healey signed an executive order that prohibits state funds from being spent on water in single-serving plastic bottles, effective immediately.

The Bay State will be the first in the nation to take such a step to reduce the overuse of single-use plastics. The Surfrider Massachusetts Chapter is among many of the groups celebrating this decision. Over the last decade, the Chapter has worked with local activists and a coalition of other advocacy groups to successfully shift the narrative on disposable plastics in Massachusetts. Having contributed to over 20 campaign victories, including plastic bag and plastic straw bans, and ongoing advocacy for statewide plastic pollution reduction legislation the MA Chapter has been a leader in making single-use plastic reduction a priority for the current administration.

Alex Vai, Volunteer Campaigns Coordinator for the Massachusetts Chapter said, “We are thrilled to see the Healy Administration building on momentum from the over 160 cities and towns in Massachusetts who have already passed local laws to reduce pollution from disposable plastics. Hopefully, this executive action serves as a catalyst for broader statewide action that is badly needed to systematically address this problem.” 

Plastics, specifically single-use plastic, are detrimental to our environment. In addition to the fact that they don't biodegrade and require other non-renewable resources to make, they also are rarely recycled properly. Roughly two-thirds of all plastic ever produced remains in the environment today — either as pollution in oceans and other landscapes, as microparticles in air, soil, and rain, or as microparticles in humans and animals. Additionally, because plastic productions requires fossil fuels, the process of making it contributes massively to climate change.  

This is why policies like those established by Gov. Maura Healey to prohibit the purchasing of  single-use plastic bottles are so important: they target and spark change from the source. 

"We know that plastic waste, plastic production are among the leading threats to our oceans, our climate and environmental justice. In government, we have an obligation – we also have an opportunity – to not only stop contributing to this damage, but to chart a better path forward," Healey said at the Clinton Global Initiative. She added, "In our coastal state, we know climate change is our biggest threat. We also believe that taking action is our greatest opportunity, an opportunity to secure a safe, prosperous and sustainable future."

You can learn more and join the Massachusetts Chapter on other plastic pollution mitigation efforts at or by reaching out to the MA Campaigns team at