Oklahoma’s new “ban on bans” hinders efforts to solve plastic pollution

For Immediate Release

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a “preemption law” yesterday, banning cities and towns from banning or placing a fee on plastic or other forms of containers. The law will also undo a recent effort in Norman, Oklahoma, to put a 5-cent tax on single-use plastic bags.

Steve Blackledge, Environment America’s senior conservation director, issued the following statement:

“Plastic doesn’t biodegrade, which means that virtually every piece of plastic that has escaped into an Oklahoma stream or river and into the Gulf of Mexico is still out there. Nothing we use for 5 minutes should pollute our environment for hundreds of years. Plastic pollution has been found in every corner of our planet, from the the Pyrenees mountains to creatures at the depths of our deepest ocean trench, but our problem starts here; it destroys our local environment first. We need to act, but local preemption doesn’t allow it.”

Alex Truelove, US PIRG Zero Waste director, issued the following statement:

“While several states are making progress in reducing plastic waste, Oklahoma just took a huge step backwards. We’ve inundated the environment with plastic, and it’s now working its way back up the food chain to us. Taking away the ability for cities and towns to address plastic pollution creates huge risks to our environment and our public health.”