Bag bill is necessary
August 23, 2011
Dear Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale, Snowmass Village, Glenwood Springs and every other city/town council,
I am writing in support of a tax and eventual ban on single-use plastic bags and water bottles. In the near term, Aspen, Basalt and Carbondale are considering ordinances to this effect and I support these initiatives wholeheartedly. Here’s why:
• Resource consumption: The U.S. International Trade Commission reported that 102 billion plastic bags were used in the U.S. in 2009. An enormous amount of fossil fuel resources are required to make those bags.
• Pollution: Hundreds of thousands of marine animals die every year when they eat plastic bags mistaken for food. Possibly the most famous example of this problem is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area twice the area of Texas, where the concentration of plastic particles reaches 40 times the concentration of plankton in some areas.
• Human health: Plastics contain hundreds of additives. Two of the most dangerous are bisphenol A and phthalates, which are both endocrine disrupters, meaning they alter, inhibit, or mimic the functioning of human hormones responsible for development, sexual traits, fertility and many other health factors.
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Obviously, it would be much better if people would responsibly use reusable bags, and a fee or ban would be unnecessary. But that is not the case, and we can’t afford to continue to use the ocean and the earth as a garbage can for our wasteful and needless consumption.
Please attend the council meetings in all towns in support of these upcoming ordinances – Aug. 23 in Basalt, Sept. 12 in Aspen.
Gina M. Murdock