Providence Mayor Vetoes Plastic Bag Ordinance

Mar 26, 2018

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has vetoed an ordinance that would have charged a fee of at least 10 cents for single-use paper and plastic bags in the city.

The city council recently passed the measure to incentivize the use of reusable bags. 

However, in a veto letter addressed to council members, Mayor Elorza wrote that the voices of lower-income residents were left out during the policy-making process.

"Those voices...are those that have the most at stake from this policy," Elorza said. "They are the neighborhoods that are most burdened by plastic pollution and the community members that are least able to afford more expensive alternatives." 

Elorza said he plans to sign an ordinance into law that works for all community members.

"By being deliberate and intentional about who is at the table, we can create an effective policy that makes our communities stronger, rather than divide us," Elorza wrote. 

Issues with the ordinance were originally specified in a letter sent to the mayor and council members by the city's Racial and Environmental Justice Committee earlier this month. 

Several mayors from other municipalities throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts have passed their own plastic bag policies.