Letter: Say no to single-use plastic bags
Almost every day we hear in the news, local or otherwise, that single use plastic bags are being banned in small towns, like Brattleboro, and/or big cities like San Francisco. The reason being, that single use plastic bags are a detriment to the environment.
Plastic is most commonly made from fossil fuels, and in the U.S., over 12 million barrels of oil are used annually to produce plastic bags. These 12 million barrels of oil produce more than 100 billion plastic bags annually. Now, these plastic bags are used once, maybe twice as a garbage liner, but more often than not, these bags wind up in the trash or littered in the streets. And what happens when that plastic bag flies out of your hand on a windy day? It ends up in the gutter on the street and is washed down the storm drains, into rivers, then flushed right out into our big beautiful oceans. Every year about 13 million tons of plastic bags end up in the world's oceans. Once in the ocean, these plastic bags look very similar to jellyfish, which marine animals mistake as food. This causes about 100 million marine animals to die each year. And if killing animals isn't bad enough, as they degrade from sunlight, plastic bags leach toxic chemicals directly into the water.
It's time for all communities, including Bennington, to start adopting plastic bag bans of their own and placing a fee on paper bags. Banning plastic bags will help not only the environment, but the local economy too. By not offering single use plastic bags, people are responsible for purchasing reusable bags from local businesses. The constant litter plastic bags create, costs the taxpayers money to hire someone to pick up the litter. And without plastic bags littering the streets, no longer will drains and infrastructure be clogged by these unfortunate items. So if you care about the environment, animals, saving money, and keeping your town beautiful, ask yourself if continuing to use plastic bags is worth it.
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