The big bag lie |

The big bag lie

Dear Editor:

The story about the sea turtle eating a plastic bag is simply not true. It was made up, staged and photographed by a zealot activist who probably read more misguided information on the Internet. You can go to Karen Beasley’s Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in North Carolina and read all the reasons sea turtles die. Most of the man-made causes are fishing nets and fishing hooks, not plastic bags. Dogs won’t eat them, so why would other animals?

Who didn’t notice just before the votes in Basalt and Carbondale that there were plastic bags floating in the trees around the towns? Pretty obvious that the votes were being manipulated by zealots determined to sway them.

Nathan Ratledge alluded in his commentary in the Aspen Daily News, April 2, titled “Lose the bags, save our snow,” the day before the vote that the bags are made in China. Wrong. They say “Made in the USA” right on them.

The bags also say “Bring back to the store for recycling,” but who takes the time to read this? I wish we would station someone outside stores for a week or two to show people the recycle bin and tell them something like, “If you bring back your bags, they will be recycled into playground equipment or more plastic bags.”

When people reuse the bags, they go to the trash, which is what is getting them banned. I hear from places that have banned them that banning does not reduce plastic bags; it has caused sales of trash bags to increase by 400 percent.

Thirteen million trees are cut down each year in the U.S. to produce paper bags for use in the U.S. Paper produces carbon dioxide. Why are we banning plastic but charging for paper bags, which will encourage their use?

Remember back in the 1980s when we were all scared by the story that we were running out of landfills and would soon need to make barges to put trash on and have to float them in the ocean? Well, that wasn’t ever true, and today we still have 50 years’ worth of landfill space ready.

I hope that Basalt’s recycle bin fills up every week so we can prove that we can be responsible without regulation.

Donna Thompson


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