Governor Youngkin overturns previous administration’s order to ban single-use plastic

In March 2021, former Governor Ralph Northam signed an executive order banning state agencies from buying, selling, or distributing single-use plastics. 

His successor, Governor Glenn Youngkin, has called that directive “burdensome” and yesterday replaced it with a new one that directs state agencies to recognize the value of recycling. 

“It is the policy of the Commonwealth, and all executive branch state agencies, including state institutions of higher education, and their concessioners (Agency or Agencies) to increase awareness of the importance of recycling and better capture recyclable material, as well as encourage the use of post-consumer recycled (PCR) products and biodegradable materials,” reads Executive Order 17.

The order also takes an economic development approach and directs the Department of Environmental Quality to attract recycling-related businesses to Virginia.

The University of Virginia formed a working group last April to begin to implement the Northam administration’s order. Last month, the UVA Sustainability Office accepted the 2022 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Gold Award for its efforts, according to an article on their website.

“The University of Virginia is taking active measures to enhance sustainability and reduce waste, pursuant with the directives detailed in Governor Youngkin’s Executive Order 17 and in former governor Ralph Northam’s Executive Order 77,” said Deputy UVA Spokesperson Bethanie Glover in an email to Charlottesville Community Engagement this afternoon.

Glover said sustainability leaders at UVA will be evaluating the new executive order to determine what additional steps need to be taken.

Lela Garner accepted the 2022 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Gold Award. Learn more on the UVA Sustainability website. (Credit: University of Virginia)

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the April 8, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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