Time to evolve | AspenTimes.com

Time to evolve

Dear Editor:

The ol’ plastic bag argument? Is it really about stealing rights or grabbing taxes? No. It’s simple. It’s about nudging us to do the right thing – to move away from a wasteful habit and to be better stewards when we forget (myself included). We have evolved to keep lead out of paint and cigarette smoking off airlines – and the world, amazingly, kept turning.

Let’s do the same with plastic consumption. Will a ban cure our plastic excess? No. But it will be a significant and symbolic start to diminish the 100 billion plastic bags we use each year – a product that doesn’t even biodegrade (no bueno). Should industry lead this? Sure. Some businesses have, like Costco and Whole Foods (no plastic bags, period), but the majority haven’t nor are willing despite urging.

Having seen, firsthand, river eddies and beaches strewn with plastic debris and the eerie Pacific gyre – a maelstrom of plastic churning in the Pacific Ocean that fish, birds and mammals confuse for food – it is no question plastic negatively affects our world. Even the end of our mighty Colorado River, a place I know well, is a Frappuccino pit of – you guessed it – plastic bags, plastic bottles and plastic muck some 100 miles from the sea (also not bueno). Let’s not wait longer for industry to carry the charge. Let’s take a leadership stance now (like scores of others), do the right thing and move away from this throwaway habit.

So please vote on April 3 and say yes to the bag ban. It’s simple evolution that requires one tiny adaptation – grab a re-usable bag and use it.

Peter McBride


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