In Massachusetts, the popular bill to reduce single-use plastic bags has passed the Senate and is about to be brought up by the House Speaker for a vote. Meanwhile Governor Baker sounds reluctant with unsubstantiated claims that grocery bills will go up and “Mom and Pop stores” will suffer.
What’s your reason for implementing a ban on single-use plastic bags? Please tell us what you think in the comment section below.
Below are some of the many comments pouring into the Ocean River Institute. We will compile into one powerful sincere letter to Governor Baker and to House Speaker DeLeo to reduce plastic pollution.
Plastics befoul our landscapes. The small beach near me in Gloucester is beautiful, but plastics wash up each day. I pick up what I can. More importantly, we need to support life in our oceans, not kill it with ingested plastics. The “convenience” of plastic for a moment’s use cannot be allowed to continue when it impacts the health of our planet and all that dwells therein.
Patricia B., Gloucester, MA
A compromised ecosystem is a compromised economic system. What minor setbacks businesses experience pales next to the major benefits needed to stop toxic damage from the abundance of single use plastics. Support this bill. Please.
Julianne R., Lexington, MA
This is a fair and reasonable bill. As a member of the Newton Needham Regional Chamber, I don’t want to impose a burden on small businesses. This bill is designed to keep small businesses from being hurt. We need to protect the oceans marine life from being damaged and from polluting our drinking water. This bill will help. Please sign it. Thank you.
Peter S., Newton, MA
We must make every effort to reduce plastic waste–which takes hundreds of years to biodegrade–and is poisoning our waterways and oceans. The time to act is now. If Trader Joe’s can put out biodegradable plastic bags at their stores, every other store can do the same. Stop plastic waste.
Sybil S., Natick, MA
Please set a precedent in ending plastic in our oceans. What an opportunity to lead the way!
Jay S., Asheville, NC
I have tried to decrease my plastic use and I no longer even use straws when I eat out at restaurants. The horrible photos of sea life with straws in their noses or plastic embedded in their shells have made me want to help clean up our environment and oceans and plastic is a huge contributor to the pollution that harms wildlife. Please reduce plastic pollution.
Robin C., Plain City, OH
These bags are an environmental and aesthetic disaster, and they are so unnecessary. I’ve been using my own cloth bags for decades now; it’s easy and practical. And you never have to look at them hanging in rags from trees or floating in our waters, where they can and do harm wildlife.
Amanda Sue, Olympia, WA
While plastic makes things quick, easy and convenient, we need to look past immediate gratification towards long range goals. It is going to take much more than a small group of environmentally conscious people to prevent major crisis. Banning plastics will help to prevent contaminated drinking water, loss of wildlife, and a reduction in trash that litters our cities.
Colleen T., Londonderry, NH
We never knew, when plastics became the thing to ‘get into’, how it would all pan out. We are now seeing the devastating and fatal consequences of our frivolous use of the stuff. It’s in everything. So please be part of the solution to begin removing it from as many places as possible so that there can be a chance to heal our environment. We may never be pristine again, but we can sure put our efforts toward cleaning up the madness. Thank you.
Lacey C., Houston, TX
I recall the days before plastic bags. Trash was collected curbside in metal cans. Most people brought net or cloth bags with them shopping and stores provided paper bags for purchases. Plastic is everywhere and in everything including sea and wildlife. It must stop. We need to reverse the everyday availability of plastic bags immediately; there is just no reason for this excess. By the way, I turn 60 this year. Plastic bags have only been around for a few decades. People will adjust as will the manufacturers lobby.
Carol J., Bloomingdale, NJ
I very much miss the days when governments encouraged civic duty–like the Keep America Beautiful Campaign–begun by Lady Bird. It made me feel proud and part of America. Instituting this law equals Massachusetts Strong. We need to see our strengths in more intrinsic ways other than fighting terrorism or attracting business. This is an opportunity for Massachusetts to encourage civic pride and unity with fellow state citizens to play an important part in making your commonwealth both beautiful and healthy. Then maybe backwater states like mine will follow your lead.
Benita C., Burgettstown, PA
In 32 years, plastic will outweigh fish in our oceans. This problem will not stop until we eliminate all the plastic bottles and bags and food containers that we possibly can. Obviously that affects rivers as well. We must do everything we can to stop using plastic wherever we can–or kill all of our marine animals and by extension the humans who eat them. Plastics contain toxins that are deadly to all species as well as the water we need to survive. Please sign this critically important Act Reducing Plastic Pollution.
Dana M., San Diego, CA
We are long overdue on making a major effort to reduce plastic pollution. When our US government does not take the reins – then States need to – for the sake of our environment, for the sake of our future generations. I don’t live in your State, but what happens in your State and all other US States affects us all. We all must do all we can – I hope you will do all you can to reduce plastic pollution.
Linda M., Edmonds, WA
I went to Mt. Ida College and like to vacation out your way and have recently noticed a horrible increase in plastic pollution and it needs to stop! This is a great first step, but please work on even more measures to protect your precious state.
Joyce S., Sun City, AZ
All coastal areas are experiencing a surge in plastic pollution. This has impact on the health of all marine organisms and potentially humans as well. As Massachusetts also benefits from coastal travel revenues, it’s also important to not have shredded plastics floating on the shorelines of travel destinations!
Kathleen O., Indianapolis, IN
Plastic bags are DEADLY to marine life. There have been whales that have washed up on beaches that died because their stomachs were full of plastic bags. These precious lives should not have to die needlessly when WE can do something to keep them from dying. Please sign H.4324 and which will help to prevent more deaths and will not hurt mom and pop stores, nor will retailers have to pay a mandatory fee to provide customers with reusable or recycled paper bags. This bill is a good one especially if it means saving the lives of marine life. Thank you for taking my comments into consideration.
Judith C., Peoria, AZ
I live in a suburb of Seattle. My city and many others in the area have already outlawed plastic bags. From the shopper’s standpoint, it is quite an easy transition. Stores can offer cheapie-99 cent reusable bags (our stores sell their cheap, cloth-like bags made from recycled plastic bags- and also sell nicer, thick, reusable vinyl bags with attractive colors and designs. Doesn’t take long for each shopper to build a little collection of these reusable bags, and just takes a little longer for a person to get in the habit of actually bringing them into the store. There were a few times at first when I forgot bags at home, or they made it into my car but I forgot to bring them into the store. I am now fully trained, and about 99% of the time, I remember to bring my collection of reusable bags into the grocery store when I do my shopping. Totally worth the trouble to know the impact my city is making with this one little change. And, let’s not kid ourselves; this is a teeny, tiny change in the scheme of things. But if we humans are going to have any hope of saving our planet from our destructive ways, we need to start with this change, and then start quickly stacking other planet-saving changes on top of it. Do the right thing. Ban plastic bags. Consider it a first step for your state.
Stella K., Shoreline, WA
I believe all it would take to remove your doubts about banning plastic bags is reading and seeing pictures of how serious the plastic contamination of our oceans and earth has become. When areas of our oceans as large as Massachusetts are swarming with more plastic than life, we’ve gone way too far, and must stop the introduction of plastic at all levels.
Thomas T., Anthony, NM
Here in Austin, Texas, we instituted a single-use bag ordinance about 5 years ago. Although at first controversial, it has operated so successfully that when our brain-dead Texas State Supreme Court recently declared it against state law, all the local major retailers appear that they will observe the ordinance’s provisions VOLUNTARILY going forward. The people of Austin have no complaints!
Craig N., Austin, TX
People who shop have options other than plastic bags to carry home their groceries. There are cloth bags designed for this purpose and also in Minnesota grocery chains sell a cardboard box that can be used over and over for the groceries. Each time it is used the person gets a 10 cent discount. The plastic bags cost the grocery approximately 3 cents per bag. They will recover this cost by placing an increased price on other items sold in the store. Why should this be added on grocery’ bills when they may be avoiding plastic bags? It is time to ban single use plastic bags.
Linda P., St. Cloud, MN
If our planet is only as healthy as our oceans, we are in trouble. Studies have shown that at its current rate, plastics will outnumber fish by 2050. Something as simple as eliminating single use plastic can sure help, as well as encouraging biodegradable plastic use. I’ve been taking my own shopping bags to stores for several years, and it presents no problem for me. In fact, it makes me feel good I am doing what I can for our oceans every time I use it. Since the ocean is so important to the fishing and tourist industries, I urge you to support H.4324.
Phyllis V., Vero Beach, FL
I do my job in North Carolina to reduce and recycle, not only at home by using our own reusable cloth bags but at the food bank where I volunteer by personally collecting and recycling as many plastic bags as I can. By merely signing this bill you can accomplish so much more.
Kicab C., Chapel Hill, NC
Many customers have purchased eco-friendly reusable grocery bags from businesses that provide them. My state Maine has championed this plastic pollution very effectively decreasing plastic bags and offering paper bags or charging .5 cents for each plastic bag an uninformed customer may inadvertently choose. Please support this common sense bill/act. We must prevent and heal what these plastics have injured for the sake of our children and our planet. Thank you for your consideration.
Autumn B., Bowdoin, ME
Plastic, once placed into the ocean or a landfill, will remain there for essentially forever. In oceans, it kills sea creatures and seagulls alike, with sea life becoming entangled in plastic; as for seagulls, they–along with other aforementioned sea life–frequently have plastic items trap their mouths shut, either by enmeshing the mouth in plastic or by having mouths, noses, and/or beaks stuck inside of things like plastic yogurt containers and/or the plastic webbing that holds together six-packs of liquid items like soda. All the same things are true on land as well at sea. Furthermore, plastic is dangerous to humans in other ways.
Bree P., Houston, TX
Plastic pollution is not just an eyesore. It is a life-threatening contaminant to aquatic and terrestrial wildlife. You have probably seen distressing images of birds, sea turtles, and other creatures entangled in man-made plastic waste and slowly, painfully dying from plastic holders for 6-pack beverages from which they are unable to free themselves without human assistance. Plastic pollution has other consequences. Over time plastic degrades and releases various chemicals into the environment, some of which may be toxic. In the open ocean plastic has become a critical health and environmental issue worldwide. Plastic in its many forms is also a visual eyesore that pollutes the water and the land and dilutes the beauty of the world we live in. Please support H.4324, An Act Reducing Plastic Pollution. Thank you.
Dana C., Norwood, MA
The only way to curb plastic pollution in our environment is preventing it from entering the supply chain. Consumers deserve better and there are innovative choices when it comes to single use plastics now that are biodegradable and less toxic for everyone.
Melissa H., Newport, NC
Plastics are only recyclable 2 or 3 times at most. A majority of plastics don’t even get recycled but end up in landfill, or as pollution. Micro-plastics are already in our water supply. For our future, I implore you to ban single-use plastic bags and then, go further and ban single-use water bottles. Thank you
Anne Marie M., West Chester, PA