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Let's do ban plastic trash bags

April 25, 2013

In response to an article by Tiffany Kelly, “Council ponders plastic bag ban,” April 18, I would like to see a ban extended to La Cañada Flintridge. The issue of plastic bags involves more than litter.

Plastics are not biodegradable once they end up in landfills or the marine ecosystem. Almost every bit of plastic ever made still exists. Plastic bags kill sea animals that become entangled with them or mistake them for food. Plastic bags that enter our marine environment eventually change into small fragments, which in some areas of the ocean outweigh plankton by more than 40 times.

The cost of disposing plastic bags costs California millions of dollars. Californians use 19 billion plastic bags every year. That's 600 bags per second. An estimated 500 billion to one trillion bags are used worldwide and every year 380 billion of those are in the U.S.

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A drive to ban most stores from handing out single-use plastic bags got an important boost on April 15 when the California Grocers Assn. announced its support for a bill. The proposal would supersede 70 local plastic bag ordinances.

Plastic bags are costly in terms of energy used, the cost of disposal and the cost of leaving behind a plastic legacy in our oceans, waterways and wildlife. They are a big problem with a simple solution.

I suggest that Mayor Olhasso and the City Council study this issue. And if there are others that agree with me, then they need to encourage the city of La Cañada Flintridge to join the Los Angeles County ban on plastic bags.

Marnie Gaede
La Cañada Flintridge

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