Regina Barnes, Dana Point
This letter is in response to Mr. Dick Rudolph, who complained in his letter to the editor (“What has the Bag Ban Accomplished in Eight Months,” Dana Point Times, December 27-January 2, Vol. 6, Issue 52) about the ban on plastic bags the City Council had instituted eight months ago.
I would like to answer that by referring to an article that was printed in the Los Angeles Times on December 28 titled, “An ecosystem of our own making could pose a threat.”
The article discusses “plastisphere.” In it, the author Louis Sahagun reports that, “this biological community starts with particles of degraded plastic no bigger than grains of salt. Bacteria take up residence on these tiny pieces of trash. Then single-celled animals feed on that bacteria, and larger predators feed on them … About 245 million tons of plastic is produced annually around the world, according to industry estimates. That represents 70 pounds of plastic annually for each of the 7.1 billion people on the planet, scientists say. The waste gathers in vast oval-shaped ocean ‘garbage patches’ formed by converging currents and winds. Once trapped in these cyclonic dead zones, plastic particles may persist for centuries. The physiological effects of visible plastic debris on the fish, birds, turtles and marine mammals that ingest it are well-documented: clogged intestines, restrictive movement, suffocation, loss of vital nutrients, starvation.”
The ban on plastic bags (in the bigger scheme of plastic) is such a small thing, but I think it’s a step in the right direction. It’s better than doing nothing.
I do agree with Mr. Rudolph that replacing plastic with paper bags is not the answer. Until all stores charge for the use of paper bags—like they do in Northern California—people will continue to forget to bring their own reusable bags when they go shopping. I hope one day all cities will have this ban in place. Sorry Mr. Rudolph, then there would be no excuse to not support your local community.