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Help keep plastic from choking Earth

Dear Editor:

Did you know that in the U.S. alone, some 100 billion plastic bags are used every year? Of those, fewer than 5 percent end up being recycled. That leaves nearly 95 billion bags a year to be reused, to pick up dog and cat waste, to line our waterways, to fill our landfills and to help lead to much larger environmental issues (for example, just Google “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch”).

We here in the Roaring Fork Valley are but a small part of this larger whole but can join with towns, cities and countries such as Telluride, Bangladesh, Washington, D.C., and Ireland (among many others) in helping address this growing blight. So often, our arguments against doing the right thing come down to personal inconvenience or government interference. However, I for one, applaud our local governments for attempting to address a problem on our societal commons. What the vote next week in Basalt and Carbondale comes down to is whether we as a community are willing to be good neighbors and modify our behaviors to fit into this greater effort. In my opinion, the potential impact we each make outweighs any argument against the plastic-bag ban. I urge each and every one of you to vote “yes” on the plastic-bag-ban ordinance.

If you want to learn more about the rationale behind these ordinances, please check out http://www.wastefreeroaringfork.org.

Eric Vozick

Basalt


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