NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

July 1, 2013

Time to get rid of single-use plastic bags

To the editor:

I remember when the traditional paper bag in the supermarket was replaced in the 1980s by the plastic one on the grounds that it was better for the environment since we could save all those trees.

Little did we know that the cure was so much worse for the creatures in the seas and the air.

Little did we know in the 1967 movie, “The Graduate,” when Dustin Hoffman is told that the future lay in “plastics,” how devastated the world would be from the single-use bags we routinely get at the checkout counter.

Little do we know now that the attempts at recycling these bags, while a worthy enterprise and which I do when I forget my cloth ones, only accounts for 5-7 percent of the 100 billion bags we Americans use each year.

Now that we know, and as part of the effort by Newburyport to lead the way in being a green and responsible community, each of us may have to put up with a little inconvenience as we tote our cloth bags around with us. It may also, however, make us feel we are doing something to improve the world that we are leaving to our children and grandchildren.

Joan Baily

Newburyport

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