Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin is taking a different approach to environmentalism than his predecessor. 

Last month, Youngkin signed Executive Order 17 that rescinded and replaced former Governor Northam’s Executive Order prohibiting executive branch state agencies, including state colleges and universities, from purchasing single use plastics and polystyrene products. 

Rather than impose restrictions, the Executive Order encourages recycling and conscious waste reduction while also recognizing that regulations are a burden to business growth. In addition to removing the onerous prohibition imposed on state institutions, Youngkin’s new order calls upon Virginia food manufacturers, grocery retailers, sports arenas, schools, hotels and banquet facilities to consider how they can “reduce food waste in their respective sectors by encouraging donations to needy individuals, food for animals or for composting purposes.”

Youngkin addressed the need to support growing businesses:

“Too often in the past, Virginia has been presented with a false choice between saving our environment and growing our economy. The growing market for post-consumer recyclables demonstrates that we can do both,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “We need to bridge that disconnect to better conserve our natural resources, reduce waste that goes out to landfills and promote new clean energy jobs here in Virginia. We should be focusing our resources and energy on providing a cleaner supply of recyclable materials.” 

This is good news for VA families, who are already facing higher prices in nearly every sector. And it’s good news for the environment. Thanks to Youngkin, businesses can focus on developing common-sense strategies for conservation.