The war on bags starts here | AspenTimes.com

The war on bags starts here

Dear Editor:

Valley residents, please come together to support the bag fee on paper and plastic grocery bags in local supermarkets.

Single-use plastic bags are rarely recycled due to lack of locations and programs and usually end up in landfills. Even when they are “recycled,” this often means the bags are just sent to poor countries where they are paid to accept and store our “recycling.”

More often than not, our plastic bags end up in the ocean adding to the huge garbage Gyres like the 5.8 million-square-mile Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Plastics, especially the thin kind used in plastic bags are broken down through photo-degradation into microscopic particles where they are eaten by plankton which are eaten by other fish which are then eaten by the ahi tuna that was on your plate at Matsuhisa last night. Before the bags get broken down, they are often eaten by sea lions and dolphins and other cute animals and birds that confuse them for yummy jellyfish.

Throughout the world, fees on plastic (and paper) bags have proven hugely successful in reducing bag usage. I remember when I lived in Italy 11 years ago, they already had the fee and all the old Italian ladies would bring their own bags rather than pay an extra 3 cents. Connecticut, San Francisco, and recently Telluride have all initiated programs reducing usage up to 90 percent.

Please support a fee on bags in the Roaring Fork Valley. We should set an example for the rest of the nation showing all of the visitors that come here how committed we are to healing our planet.

There is no reason to let this opportunity pass.

Gabriel Finesilver

Aspen


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