ProJo Op-Ed My Turn: : On Banning Plastic Bags
On Why It’s: “Time for city to ban plastic bags.”
These days, it’s hard not to think about plastic. It’s impossible to get through a day without either going to the grocery store and being asked, “paper or plastic?” or simply heading down the street and seeing a plastic bag blowing around like a tumbleweed.
We use more than 95 million plastic bags annually just in the City of Providence. That’s a very real problem, not simply for the litter these bags create in our neighborhoods, but because these bags come with a very real cost. The city will spend nearly $1 million in extra disposal costs because of plastic bags. Additionally, these bags often end up in Narragansett Bay and other area waters, where they break into smaller pieces called microplastics. Those microplastics pose a deadly threat to sea life and Clean Water Action has found that they are now a serious source of contamination in the Bay.
Back in the 1980s, Save The Bay identified excessive levels of phosphorus and nitrogen, along with storm water toxins, as dangerous pollutants. The state enacted policies to control the nutrients and reduce the toxins that were threatening the future of a vital resource for Rhode Island.