NEWBURYPORT — A free showing of the documentary, “Bag It” will air Wednesday, May 22, at 7 p.m. at Newburyport High School. The film was created to educate the public about the effects of plastics on the natural environment and human health.
Following the 45-minute film, a community discussion will be held with Mayor Donna Holaday, State Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, D-Newburyport, and State Rep. Lori Ehrlich, D-Marblehead, who is currently working on plastic bag legislation at the state level. The discussion will focus on addressing the possibility of instituting a ban or fee on plastic grocery bags in Newburyport, public concerns and problem-solving around this issue.
Residents of Newburyport have been working to address issues of plastic pollution in our coastal city. Following the lead of other cities and towns across the country, a local group called Citizens for Sustainable Bagging was formed whose purpose is to move the city toward placing a ban or fee on plastic grocery bags. The bags are a target for elimination because they do not biodegrade, they are aerodynamic -- landing in our trees, fields and waterways -- and they are a threat to marine and other wildlife. The initiative is in line with Newburyport’s continued efforts to work toward becoming a zero waste community.
This event has been organized by students of the NHS Environmental Club and the Golf of Maine Institute in conjunction with Citizens for Sustainable Bagging and Transition Newburyport. The issue of plastic pollution has given the students the opportunity to test their civic muscles while working toward positive change on the many environmental uncertainties they face.
“One of the most powerful tools we possess is that of awareness,” Newburyport High School student Lindsay Ford said, “Not only environmental awareness, but the insight to realize that the most productive and fulfilling change is a product of collaboration and unity among interested citizens, businessmen and legislators.”