Gov. Healey of Massachusetts announces single use plastic bottle ban for government agencies

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey announced that she will sign an executive order banning state agencies from purchasing single-use plastic bottles on Monday.

The announcement came as a part of the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting.

"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 said.

Healey also announced that she would sign an executive order directing the state to set biodiversity goals for 2030, 2040 and 2050.

“Our seas and forests are the most fundamental climate resources we have; we are determined to protect them,” she shared.

Other plastics bans across the country

The executive orders will be the first ban on plastic bottles in the country, though other states and municipalities have put in restrictions on other forms of single use plastics.

California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia each have laws either banning or requiring a charge for single-use plastic bags.

Other states and municipalities have laws on the books restricting the use of plastic straws, utensils and other single use take-out packaging.

Over 20 municipalities in Massachusetts have put restrictions on single use bottles, according to CBS Boston.

'Rapid' and 'unprecedented': New report shows dramatic rise in ocean plastic

Ocean plastic pollution

170 trillion particles of plastic fill the oceans, a new high in a "rapid and unprecedented" increase in ocean plastics, according to research from the 5 Gyres Institute in the journal PLOS-ONE earlier this year.

"Our data shows an increase in ocean plastic pollution at the same time as a decrease in effective laws and agreements," the Institute said.

Healey noted that the state could not go at it alone in the fight against plastic pollution in her speech Monday.

"Our natural world recognizes no political divisions and neither should our work to protect it," Healey shared.

Doyle Rice contributed to this story

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Massachusetts Governor announces plastic bottle ban for state agencies