December 12, 2019

Congressman Neguse Leads Letter to the House Requesting Plastic Bottles No Longer Be Used in All Committee Proceedings

Washington, D.C.—This week, Congressman Joe Neguse, along with Congresswoman Kim Schrier, sent a joint letter to the Chair of the Committee on House Administration, requesting a policy change to preclude the use of disposable plastic bottles in all committee rooms and proceedings. 

“While climate change is a global problem, solving it depends on the power of our individual choices as consumers, each decision we make has a real cumulative impact on our environment,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “As global leaders, it is important that the United States Congress lead by example in this effort to make sustainable choices. Therefore, we encourage the Committee to support our efforts to remove single-use plastic water bottles in the House.”

Read the letter here. 

The production of plastics contributes to climate change at every stage of its lifecycle, from production, to refining, to its management as a waste product. Ninety-nine percent of plastic is made from fossil fuels, with refinement being the most greenhouse gas intensive part of the life cycle, and almost all plastic ends up in oceans and landfills. Currently, over 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic had been produced – two-thirds of which has been released into the environment and remains there. 

Despite the dire warning from scientists, global production of plastics is expanding. Studies estimate that a million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute, with only 7 percent being recycled into new bottles. Plastic production is set to double in the next 20 years and quadruple by 2050. If this reliance on plastics continues, plastics will account for 20 percent of oil consumption by 2050.

Last month, Congressman Neguse introduced the Green Government resolution, proposing that the U.S. Capitol Complex opt-in to Washington D.C.’s renewable energy goals and transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2032. Earlier in the year, Congressman Neguse introduced legislation to invest in regenerative agriculture research, incentivize small-scale solar installations and just last week he introduced a package of bills to invest in climate science research