Law to Charge For Plastic Bags in Grocery Stores Across The Denver Metro Area

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   Hello all, my name is Kristiana Krasteva and I am a high school student at Denver School of the Arts. My partner, Summer Jones, and I have been researching the issue of plastic build up and pollution for a solid few months now. We are doing a project in our English classes where we had to choose an issue we cared about and saw flaws in. We chose this issue because it's often pushed to the side, and no one realizes it's actual impacts. We would love it if you could read a brief explanation on what the issue is, how it's impacting  our society, and what we want to be changed.

   We are addressing the issue of plastic build up, which is causing many complications within our ecosystem that no one is paying attention to, causing harm to our animals, humans, and all other living organisms. This issue has relevant since the mid-1900s, and it has been getting worse ever since. Our Earth now holds over 8 million tons of plastic, and soon this issue will be too big of a problem for humans to be able to control. While the majority of plastic is laying in the oceans and landfills on Earth’s surface, there is still plastic that ends up flowing into rivers and waterways. Plastic is flowing into our water sources, meaning that we are drinking contaminated water that the plastic has polluted. Thus, when plastic is mishandled, it can hurt the people and animals drinking the water, and eventually lead to many health problems. We have also talked to Janna Six, a plastic bag activist, who  mentioned in an interview conducted on October 3rd, “I don’t think we’ll ever live without plastic. What I’ve heard from the climate change experts is that we need to preserve a little bit of fossil fuels to be used where we have to use plastic.” As a society, we are using too much unnecessary plastic, that builds up and hurts our planet. We should only be using plastic where we need to use it, such as for medical machinery and car parts. One big way that plastic build-up is hurting our planet is by contributing to climate change, as Janna mentioned. The fossil fuels found in petroleum-based plastics are emitting toxic greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. These greenhouse gasses are adding onto the greenhouse gasses already emitted from other things, such as coal and oil. Too many greenhouse gasses produced from plastic can cause a planet that is too warm, which affects human health, agriculture, energy, and water supplies. Plastic build-up is a widespread problem that is hurting not only our environment but our populations, animal, and human, across the world. We can work together as a society to solve this plastic issue and save our environment from future catastrophe.

We demand that there is a law passed to charge a fee of $0.20 on all plastic bags, and ban plastic bags and make paper and reusable bags more accessible in all grocery stores across the Denver Metro Area. Our goal behind this action is to get people to use more reusable and paper bags, instead of single-use plastic bags. Paper bags (when recycled) and reusable bags (when used for a few years) are both better, in terms of impact for the environment than plastic bags. Not only is this change going to be better for the environment but maybe even more cost-effective for consumers. Take this, if consumers spend a one time fee of $.90 on a reusable bag and use that bag for 5 years, they will only be spending $.18 a year on that bag. On the other hand, let’s say a consumer shops at the grocery store once a week and needs to buy 2 plastic bags each trip for a total of $0.40. For only a year, that consumer will spend approximately $41.60, just on plastic bags. This will hopefully be enough to dissuade people from using so many plastic bags, and instead switching to paper and reusable bags. We want this to be implemented in grocery stores across the Denver Metro Area (for starters), and later on stores in malls that sell shoes and clothing. First, we will talk to local lawmakers and use their help to get this law passed (most importantly we need your help!) We want to follow in countries, such as Ireland and Bulgaria’s footsteps to charge plastic bags. They have been outstandingly successful in minimizing plastic usage. In some countries, plastic usage has been minimized up to 90%, which as a result, is leading to a healthier and cleaner planet!

Let's work together to make a change. This issue is getting way to big to be ignored and we have to take action as soon as we can. We would appreciate it you would support this issue, no matter if you live in Denver or some place else. And if you don't live in Denver, hopefully you can get something similar implemented in your area, so you can help make a change. This way, we can slowly start minimizing and eliminating excess plastic usage. 

Sign now to demand a $0.20 charge on plastic bags across the Denver Metro Area.