SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

January 9, 2013

Letter: Time to move past plastic bags

To the editor:

While Will Broaddus touched on good points of the argument to ban plastic bags in “The problem with plastic bags” (Jan. 3), the importance of this topic needs to be said again. America uses about 100 billion bags per year. Plastic bags that provide no nutrients are eaten by confused marine animals, causing many them to die of starvation with a full stomach.

Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they just break into smaller and smaller pieces, which collect toxins like PCP and the DDT that past generations worked so hard to ban. Plastic bags could be our next “Silent Spring”: When they make their way into the ocean, they are eaten by marine animals — which are in turn eaten by us. Massachusetts relies on the ocean, with a $5 billion fishing industry. We must protect it from plastic pollution.

A ban on plastic bags is the only option to stop this epidemic in its tracks. Not only are we poisoning the environment, we are poisoning ourselves. This minor convenience has harsh consequences, and we must put an end to it.

Morgan Dean

Environment Massachusetts

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