Ban the bag

Published: Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 - 3:08 pm
Last Modified: Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 - 5:16 pm

Re "Lobbyists work to kill California bill that would outlaw flimsy plastic grocery bags" (Aug. 20): A solution to saving animals, millions of dollars and helping the environment is simple: ban single-use plastic bags. Plastic pollution lasts for generations. This is not a legacy we want to leave. Every year, California uses 19 billion single-use plastic bags, but only 3 percent are recycled. The remaining plastic bags pollute our streets, parks, rivers and beaches. Cleaning up marine debris, including bags, costs millions of dollars yearly. Momentum is building with over a third of Californians already living in one of the 115 cities and counties that have banned plastic bags. Plastic is created using nonrenewable fossil fuels and never fully decomposes. These plastic remnants tarnish our parks, pollute our waterways and become a food source for aquatic animals. According to National Geographic, some endangered leatherback sea turtles have up to 11 pounds of plastic in their stomachs because they mistake plastic debris for jellyfish.

-- Garett Peterson, Davis

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