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RI Lawmakers Receive 10K+ Signatures Supporting Plastic Bag Ban

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

 

The advocacy group Environment Rhode Island delivered over 10,000 public comments to state lawmakers in support of a plastic bag ban in Rhode Island on Wednesday.

The petition delivery comes one day before the expected 2014 introduction of a plastic bag ban bill in the Rhode Island House of Representatives by State Rep. Maria Cimini (Providence).

"In the Ocean State, there is broad public support for banning plastic bags as a common sense protection for Narragansett Bay," said Channing Jones, Program Associate with Environment Rhode Island. "Nothing we use for five minutes should pollute the Bay for future generations."

Public comments delivered by Environment Rhode Island included petition signatures collected by the group's citizen outreach staff and volunteer team, as well as online signatures from recent action takers on the group's website and MoveOn.org––all urging lawmakers to support a ban on plastic bags. The delivery comes on top of 7300 signatures presented to lawmakers last spring.

According to Cimini, "Rhode Island uses hundreds of millions of plastic bags every year, and too many of them are littering our neighborhoods, parks, and roadsides––and because they are so light, they easily make their way into Narragansett Bay and other bodies of water."

Threat to wildlife

Plastic bags are a leading debris type found in Rhode Island coastal cleanups. In waterways like Narragansett Bay, they pose a direct threat to wildlife that can ingest or become entangled in them. Longer term, while plastic bags never biodegrade, they do break apart into increasingly small fragments, accumulating in the marine environment and picking up toxic substances in the water.

Cimini initially introduced a bill to ban plastic bags in February 2013 (H5407), with a Senate counterpart (S404) sponsored by State Sen. Donna Nesselbush (Pawtucket).

"Hearings on the plastic bag ban were more heavily attended that any other environmental hearings I saw at the State House last year," said Jones, "with about three quarters of the testimony supportive. However, opposition from the plastics and packaging industry helped keep the bill from advancing to a floor vote."

The legislation was supported in the 2013 legislative agenda of the Environment Council of Rhode Island, the state's largest coalition of environmental groups. Rep. Cimini's 2014 bill will be largely similar to last year's version, with some operational tweaks and clarifications. As before, the bill will prohibit the distribution of disposable plastic shopping bags at the point of sale by Rhode Island retailers, effective on the first of the coming year for large retailers and one year later for small businesses. One notable shift from the 2013 version is that a fee on paper bags is not expected in this year's bill.

Municipal Level Bans

Dozens of communities around the United States, including Barrington in October, as well as major cities like Los Angeles and Seattle, have passed similar bans on a municipal level, with or without a paper bag fee.

"Banning plastic bag ban is a common sense policy that will eliminate a significant source of trash threatening the Bay and other Rhode Island waterways," said Jones. "I applaud Representative Cimini for reintroducing a bill to ban plastic bags statewide, and I urge Rhode Island lawmakers to pass this legislation in 2014."

 

Related Slideshow: 25 Movies Filmed in Rhode Island

Prev Next

Moonrise Kingdom

2012

Director: Wes Anderson

Cast: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray Frances McDormand

This Oscar nominated film features many local landmarks including Fort Wetherill State Park, Bayfield Farm, and the Conanicut Lighthouse.

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Mr. North

1988

Director: Danny Huston

Cast: Anthony Edwards, Robert Mitchum, Lauren Bacall

Shot in Newport, this comedy-drama features Anthony Edwards as a con man attempting to break into the 1920s Newport social scene. 

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There's Something About Mary

1998

Directors: Peter and Bobby Farrelly

Cast: Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon, Ben Stiller

Filmed partly in Providence, this movie was the highest-grossing comedy in 1998. 

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Federal Hill

1994

Director: Michael Corrente

Cast: Nicholas Turturro, Anthony DeSando, Libby Langdon

Set in Providence's Federal Hill neighborhood, the movie marks the directorial debut of Pawtucket native Michael Corrente.

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Age of Innocence

1993

Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder

This Oscar winning drama was partly filmed in Portsmouth.  

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True Lies

1994

Director: James Cameron

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold

The ballroom scenes in the movie were filmed at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport.

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High Society

1956

Director: Charles Walters

Cast: Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra

Nominated for two Academy Awards, the movie's opening shot features a flyover of Newport’s oceanfront mansions. 

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Thirteen Days

2000

Director: Roger Donaldson

Cast: Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Steven Culp

This docudrama about the Cuban Missile Crisis was partly shot in Newport. 

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Little Children

2006

Director: Todd Field

Cast: Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson, Jennifer Connelly, Jackie Earle Haley

Shot partly in Providence, this critically acclaimed drama received three Academy Award nominations, including a Best Lead Actress nod for Kate Winslet.

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RIPD

2013

Director: Peter M. Lenkov

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon

A car chase for this action-comedy was filmed in downtown Providence. 

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Amistad

1997

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Dijimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey

Shot at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport and the State House in Providence, this drama received four Academy Award nominations in 1998. 

Prev Next

Outside Providence

1999

Director: Michael Corrente

Cast: Shawn Hatosy, Amy Smart, Alec Baldwin

Filmed in multiple locations throughout Rhode Island, this movie is an adaptation of Peter Farrelly's 1988 novel of the same name.

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Me, Myself & Irene

2000

Directors: Peter and Bobby Farrelly

Cast: Jim Carrey, Renée Zellweger. Chris Cooper, Robert Forster, Richard Jenkins

Filmed in Newport, Narragansett, Jamestown, and Galilee, this comedy centers on a Rhode Island State Trooper played by Jim Carrey. 

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Evening

2007

Director: Lajos Koltai

Cast: Vanessa Redgrave, Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Meryl Streep

The film was primarily set in Newport and included large portions shot at Gooseberry Beach.

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The Great Gatsby

1974

Director: Jack Clayton

Cast: Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Sam Waterston, Bruce Dern

This Academy Award-winning drama was filmed in Newport at the Rosecliff Mansion on Bellevue Ave.

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Self Storage

2013

Director: Tom DeNucci

Cast: Eric Roberts, Jonathan Silverman, Michael Berryman, Tom DeNucci

Filmed in a self storage facility in East Greenwich, this horror-comedy marks the directorial debut of Cranston native Tom DeNucci. 

Prev Next

27 Dresses

2008

Director: Anne Fletcher

Cast: Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Malin Åkerman, Ed Burns

Shot throughout Rhode Island, locations included the Rosecliff and Marble House mansions in Newport and a beach in Charlestown. 

Prev Next

Dan in Real Life

2007

Director: Anne Fletcher

Cast: Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook, Alison Pill

Filmed primarily in Jamestown, the movie also features the Point Judith Lighthouse in Narragansett.

Prev Next

Hachi: A Dog's Tale

2009

Director: Lasse Hallström

Cast: Richard Gere, Joan Allen, Jason Alexander

Filmed primarily in Bristol and Woonsocket, other locations included the Columbus Theater in Providence and the University of Rhode Island in Kingston. 

Prev Next

The Education of Charlie Banks

2007

Director: Fred Durst

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Ritter, Eva Amurri

Shot partially in Brown University in Providence, the movie marks the directorial debut of Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst.

Prev Next

Meet Joe Black

1998

Director: Martin Brest

Cast: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Claire Forlani

Warwick's Aldrich Mansion served as the residence of Anthony Hopkins' character in the film. 

Prev Next

Reversal of Fortune

1990

Director: Barbet Schroeder

Cast: Jeremy Irons, Glenn Close, Ron Silver

Jeremy Irons took home the Oscar for Best Actor for this drama, which was partly shot in Newport.

Prev Next

Underdog

2007

Director: Frederik Du Chau

Cast: Jason Lee, Peter Dinklage, Patrick Warburton, Amy Adams

Shot entirely in Rhode Island, filming locations included Hope High School on the East Side of Providence.

Prev Next

Tanner Hall

2009

Directors: Francesca Gregorini, Tatiana von Furstenberg

Cast: Rooney Mara, Georgia King, Brie Larson

Shot in Providence and Newport, the film marks the the directorial debut of Brown University graduates Francesca Gregorini and Tatiana von Furstenberg.

Prev Next

Dumb and Dumber

1994

Directors: Peter and Bobby Farrelly

Cast: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Lauren Holly

Scenes from the beginning of this comedy were filmed on location in Providence, including a shot of the Big Blue Bug.

 
 

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