Support Wisconsin Assembly Bill 177 (AB 177)
If Wisconsin is going to begin to address the growing problem of managing disposable plastic waste, it is critically important that Assembly Committee on Local Government Chair Representative Todd Novak schedule a hearing on AB 177. AB 177 repeals 2015 Wisconsin Act 302 which limits the authority of local governments to regulate single-use, disposable plastic containers in their communities.
Contact your representatives in the state legislature to end plastic waste.Ask your Assembly Representative and State Senator to co-sponsor AB 177 to repeal restrictions on the authority of local governments to regulate single-use, disposable plastic containers, including disposable plastic water and soda bottles and plastic bags. Then email Rep.Novak@legis.wisconsin.gov and ask him to schedule a hearing on AB 177 to end plastic waste.
AB 177 was read for the first time April 18, 2019 and referred to the Committee on Local Government, chaired by Rep. Novak, Rep.Novak@legis.wisconsin.gov. He has not scheduled a hearing for AB 177.
Plastic waste pollution is a large, complex and thorny problem that is projected to get worse. The Center for International Environmental Law indicates that “Plastic is a pollutant of unique concern, as it does not break down quickly and instead accumulates in the environment as more is produced. It carries toxic impacts throughout its lifecycle — from the impacts of oil and gas drilling, to plastic refining and manufacture, to waste management, to plastic pollution that ends up in our oceans and environment. Taken in aggregate, these impacts from the lifecycle of plastic can be measured in human health and climate change. Yet just as the world is coming to realize the dangers of plastic pollution and take action to prevent it, the petrochemical industry is poised to invest billions to expand plastic production by 40 percent in the next few decades. If they succeed, plastic will outweigh fish in our oceans by 2050.”https://www.ciel.org/issues/plastic/
Local units of government are tasked by laws and regulations to manage Municipal Solid Waste including plastics; they need AB 177 passed and 2015 WI Act 302 (Statutes Section 1. 66.0419) repealed to be able to manage disposable plastics effectively. Rick Meyers, City of Milwaukee Sanitation Services Manager, in a 09/26/2019 email to Carol Diggelman, provided the City of Milwaukee’s position on AB 177. “AB 177 would restore the ability to decide at the local level through our duly elected Mayor and Common Council members whether or not to restrict, ban, impose fees, or regulate single use disposable items issued and used in our political jurisdiction. The City of Milwaukee has been pre-empted from considering these policy tools since the enactment of 2015 Wisconsin Act 302 (in effect since April 1, 2016). The State should not restrict local government’s ability to manage Municipal Solid Waste when consistent with the State’s Solid Waste Reduction, Recovery, and Recycling law (Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 287) and the waste hierarchy therein, specifically, 287.05(12).”
In Wisconsin industry and businesses seem to be working at cross purposes with government. 2015 WI Act 302 was supported by 16, mostly industry and business groups, and opposed by 8, mostly government and environmental groups. AB 177 is supported by 6 government and environmental groups, including the LWVWI, Inc. As of 10/05/2019, no groups oppose AB 177.
To effectively address plastic waste pollution, it will take manufacturer, business, government and consumer policy-makers working together. The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) cites their executive summary, SINGLE-USE PLASTICS: A Roadmap for Sustainability. “The benefits of plastic are undeniable. The material is cheap, lightweight and easy to make. These qualities have led to a boom in the production of plastic over the past century. This trend will continue as global plastic production skyrockets over the next 10 to 15 years.
“We are already unable to cope with the amount of plastic waste we generate, unless we rethink the way we manufacture, use and manage plastics.Ultimately, tackling one of the biggest environmental scourges of our time will require governments to regulate, businesses to innovate and individuals to act,” according to a 2018 report from the United Nations Environment Programme.
End Plastic Waste Contact your representatives in the state legislature to end plastic waste.Ask your State Representative and State Senator to end plastic waste. by co-sponsoring AB 177, Repeal limits on authority of local governments to regulate single-use, disposable plastic containers, like disposable plastic water and soda bottles and plastic bags. Then email Rep.Novak@legis.wisconsin.gov and ask him to schedule a hearing on AB 177 to end plastic waste.
For more information, contact LWVWI Legislative Committee Member Carol Diggelman (email@example.com) or the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Andrea Kaminski firstname.lastname@example.org