Policy Update

Rhode Island Senate Passes Plastic Waste Reduction Act

April 8, 2022



NCEL Point of Contact

Private: Gabrielle Houston
Project Manager for Zero Waste and Circular Economy


Rhode Island is one step closer to banning harmful single-use plastic bags from retail stores state-wide. SB 2446, the Plastic Waste Reduction Act, aims to reduce the use of plastic bags provided by retail establishments by offering recyclable bag options. On April 7, SB 2446 passed the Senate and now goes to the House for consideration.

SB 2446 also:

  • Acknowledges the devastating impact plastic bags (single-use plastic) have on public health and climate change.
  • Encourages retailers to offer reusable bag options to consumers.
  • Includes fines for violations that are retained by the municipality. 

Since 2019, states have introduced dozens of bills related to single-use plastic bags designed to ban or place a fee on them. Reducing single-use plastic bags reduces the burden on waste streams, communities, and wildlife habitats. To date, California, Delaware, New York, Oregon, and Vermont have all banned single-use plastic bags. 

This year at least 23 other states are considering a variety of plastic pollution legislation. Track this Rhode Island bill and view other plastic legislation at ncelenviro.org/plastic-pollution