Just facts on bags | AspenTimes.com

Just facts on bags

Dear Editor:

For most of us, Colorado is all about the boundless beauty, the clean air we breathe, the pristine water we drink, the healthy animals we love and the people who all share the same desire to make sure we protect it at all cost.

Worldwide, 4 billion plastic bags end up as litter each year. Plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. As they slowly decompose, plastic bags break into tiny pieces and leach toxic chemicals into our soils, lakes, rivers and oceans.

When plastic bags break down, they don’t biodegrade – they photodegrade. This means the materials break down into smaller fragments that readily soak up toxins. They then contaminate soil, waterways and animals upon digestion.

Basalt has a recycling program, and only 1 to 3 percent of all plastic bags actually are recycled; the rest go in the landfill. The average amount of time a plastic bag is used from store to home is 20 minutes. It is estimated that between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are used each year worldwide. About 1 million plastic bags are used every minute.

Plastic bags either are restricted or completely banned in more than 25 percent of the world. Do you think these governments would ban them if they did not believe they caused a health threat? Does banning plastic bags work? South Australia banned checkout-style plastic bags and expects to reduce them by more than 400 million annually.

It’s time to create a cultural shift away from the use-and-toss, disposable culture we now live in. Small steps … maybe, but at least it is in the right direction and not the wrong direction.

It is just as easy to bring a bag and start making a good change for the betterment of all. Having the right to do the “wrong thing” is not a right when it affects other people, thus we have laws.

Do the right thing and protect all life. It is a small step in the right direction. Your children will thank you. Put back and give more than you take. Be the change you want to see in the world and start today. I will be voting yes to ban plastic bags.

Tripp Adams


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