Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 619: Eliminating the Purchase by the Executive Department of Single-Use Plastic Bottles

Date: 09/21/2023
Issuer: Maura Healey
Mass Register: No. 1506

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, climate change is adversely affecting the people of Massachusetts and poses a threat to public health, the well-being of our communities and families, and our state’s economy and infrastructure;

WHEREAS, combustion of fossil fuels is a primary cause of greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change;

WHEREAS, the production of plastic bottles relies on fossil fuels, and most plastic bottles are made from petroleum-based polyethylene terephthalate in refineries that run on fossil fuels;

WHEREAS, plastic pollution has resulted in harm to communities in Massachusetts; 

WHEREAS, by some estimates Americans throw away about 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour;

WHEREAS, plastic pollution harms wildlife across Massachusetts, including in our ocean ecosystems;

WHEREAS, purchasing single-use plastic bottles instead of utilizing less harmful alternatives is inconsistent with the Healey-Driscoll administration’s climate policy;

            NOW, THEREFORE, I, Maura T. Healey, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, Part 2, c. 2, § I, Art. I, do hereby order as follows:

Section 1.  Definition of “single-use plastic bottle.”  As used in this Executive order, a “single-use plastic bottle” refers to a beverage in a sealed rigid plastic bottle having a capacity of 21 fluid ounces or less.

Section 2.  Effective immediately, all executive offices and agencies of the executive department shall stop purchasing single-use plastic bottles in favor of less harmful alternatives.

Section 3.  No later than December 31, 2023, all executive department offices and agencies shall submit to the Operational Services Division and the Office of Climate Innovation and Resilience a summary of the steps they have taken to (i) halt the expenditures of state funds for the purchase of single-use plastic bottles and (ii) reduce the sale or re-sale of single use plastic bottles on state owned property. 

Section 4.  Each office and agency shall take all appropriate steps to limit the purchase, use, or sale of single-use plastic bottles to only those circumstances: (i) when no alternative is available or practicable; (ii) when necessary to protect health, safety, and welfare; (iii) when compliance with this Order would conflict with contract requirements or labor agreements in existence as of the effective date of this Order or agreements solicited before the effective date of this Order, and (iv) to prepare for or respond to an emergency.  In addition, each office or agency shall provide for disability or accessibility related accommodations in its planning efforts.

Section 5.  All Massachusetts quasi-public authorities and boards are encouraged to adopt their own plans to eliminate their purchasing and sale of single-use plastic bottles.

            Section 6.  This Executive Order shall take effect immediately and shall continue in effect until amended, superseded, or revoked by subsequent Executive Order.


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