In an effort to mitigate climate change impacts, Gov. Maura Healey is set to sign an executive order banning the purchase of single-use plastic bottles by state agencies within the week.
The ban will go into effect immediately, the governor announced at the Clinton Global Initiative’s Climate Week summit in New York Monday.
Massachusetts will be the first state in the country to adopt a procurement ban on single-use plastic bottles for state agencies.
“We know that plastic waste and plastic production are among the leading threats to our oceans, our climate, and our environmental justice,” Healey said Monday. “In government, we have an obligation; We also have an opportunity to not only stop contributing to this damage, but to chart a better path forward.”
Healey noted that as a coastal state, Massachusetts is particularly vulnerable to climate change. It’s “our biggest threat,” she said. “We also believe taking action is our greatest opportunity — an opportunity to secure a safe, prosperous, and sustainable future.”
Also on Monday, Healey announced updated biodiversity conservation targets for the state of Massachusetts, that exceed the global “30 by 30” initiative — an agreement among world leaders and ecological experts to conserve 30 percent of the earth’s land and water by 2030.
Healey is slated to sign an executive order this week that will direct state agencies to establish additional biodiversity targets for 2030, 2040, and 2050, along with strategies to meet those targets, in order to counter the threat of significant biodiversity loss.
The protections will be among the first in the country to extend to coastal and maritime habitats.
“Steps will include taking swift action to stem the loss of our salt marshes — which provide critically important habitat, protect inland areas from storm impacts, and remove large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere,” Healey said. “And we will be looking at strategies such as ‘marine protected areas’ to ensure coastal and ocean habitats critical to biodiversity can recover and thrive.”
With over 430 species listed as endangered in Massachusetts, and nearly one million species facing extinction worldwide, Healey said it is paramount to improve natural resource protections as climate change effects worsen.
“Biodiversity loss threatens public health, economic stability, food security and our emissions goals,” the governor said, adding “we know that seas and forests are the most fundamental climate resources we have. . . we are determined to protect them.”