Letter: Who's next to ban plastic bags?
Editor of the Reformer,
Congratulations to the town of Wilmington for having the wisdom and foresight to ban plastic bags (Reformer, Jan. 1). It was particularly encouraging to read how supportive the business community and others were of the measure. "Everyone was glad to be part of it," reported Sarah Fisher, member of the Select Board.
Wilmington is just the second town after Brattleboro to ban single-use plastic bags, but many other towns — from Middlebury to Bennington — have campaigns well under way. When Vermonters understand the devastating effect that these bags are having on our environment, how they are clogging our rivers and waterways, polluting our seas, killing marine life and water fowl and poisoning our food chain, it is an easy decision to ban them.
I encourage other towns in Windham County and beyond to join the movement. Even if your town has no supermarket or businesses that distribute plastic bags, a ban would send an important message to our state legislature that it is now time for Vermont to join other states and countries around the world in banning single-use plastic bags. For information on how to go about banning them in your town, I recommend going to massgreen.org and clicking on the link to "Reducing Plastic Bags" to read up on plastic bag legislation and the impact of bag laws. You will also find a tool kit with all the information you need to begin your campaign.
As we have seen in Brattleboro and now in Wilmington, there is strong support among the general public and businesses for sensible plastic bag bans. The United Nations estimates that within a generation the world will have more plastic bags in the oceans than fish. Let's not wait any longer.
Brattleboro, Jan. 4
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