October 21, 2014
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Time to ban the bags

To the Editor:

Plastic pollution is a growing threat to Narragansett Bay, coastal areas and the ocean beyond. Turtles, whales, seabirds and other animals can ingest floating plastic debris they mistake for food, or they can become entangled in it. Moreover, scientists are increasingly concerned that toxic chemicals absorbed by plastic are harming our fish and shellfish. And since plastic never biodegrades, this debris could remain in the Bay for generations.

Single-use plastic shopping bags, like the kind you get in grocery stores, are one of the most common types of trash found in Rhode Island coastal cleanups. Every year, Rhode Island uses hundreds of millions of these bags, and too many of them end up littering our parks and neighborhoods – and threatening Narragansett Bay and its wildlife.

Fortunately, Rhode Island saw a promising step for Narragansett Bay when Rep. Maria Cimini introduced a bill in the Rhode Island House of Representatives to ban disposable plastic shopping bags in the state. By banning plastic bags in Rhode Island, we can make the Ocean State an environmental leader; we know that nothing we use for five minutes should pollute the Bay for future generations.

Vanessa Labrador

Environment Rhode Island


Comments
1 comment on this item

I agree. It is laziness to use those bags. People aren't recycling them in the bins at stores. It uses preciious oil which instead could be used to fuel other things. They really do make a city look trashy when they are blowing all over the place. Any one know when the plastic bags first came out in stores? what did people use before that back in the 50's and 60's ? How did they survive with out them ?

It kills me how wasteful our nation has become, yet our natural resources are depleting and the costs are rising.

But, people will say how useful these bags are and defend them. Such a waste.

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