Pass 4-19 (HoCo Plastic Bag Fee
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It's time we ban plastic bags, straws, styrofoam, and all single use plastics. These single use plastics are extremely wasteful, and once in landfills will stay in landfills for hundreds of years. While in landfills, they release toxins and can find their way waterways, contaminating drinking water, which is only 1% of all water on earth.
Because they are light weight, wind can carry them across streets and into oceans where they cause tons of damage. Marine animals can accidentally ingest plastic, and kills 1 million birds, 100,000 turtles, and countless of other animals. Even after they die, the plastic stays in the ocean and photodegrades, meaning the sun turns the plastic into smaller pieces, without fully decomposing at all. They become micro plastics, which are toxic sponges. They are so tiny marine animals like fish ingest without knowing and swallow the toxins, which could be eaten by us, and could have harmful effects on us, like BPA, which is an endocrine disrupter.
The ocean is extremely important and we need to protect it. 70% of the earth's oxygen comes from the ocean. Businesses that rely on the ocean contribute $500 billion to the world's economy. Especially in Maryland, a lot of businesses rely on the Chesapeake Bay to be protected. Some include the seafood industry, recreational businesses, and tourism businesses. If you love the beach, you just like things nice and clean, or really care about the environment, than the ocean should be important to you.
Plastic bags alone use 12 billion barrels of oil for the 30 million bags used each year in the U.S., a non-renewable source we are quickly running out of. Wasting all that oil contributes to climate change, which is a huge problem facing humanity.
Plastic litter is disgusting and gross. Cleaning up all that plastic costs taxpayers millions. Less than 6.5% of plastic is recycled. Creating sustainable products would create jobs.
There are many alternatives to wasteful, harmful single use plastics. Plastic bags can be easily replaced with reusable cloth bags. They should be cheap and available for everyone. Even if you forget your bag, stores should always provide reusable bags for customers. One person using reusables bags would replace more than 22,000 plastic bags. Straws can be outlawed completely. People can drink just fine without straws. But if people feel the need for a straw, we can replace single use straws with metal ones, or even glass ones. Styrofoam take out containers can be replaced with biodegradable containers. Plastic bottles can be replaced with reusable bottles that can be filled with tap. Plastic silverware can be replaced with reusable silverware. Plastic sandwich bags can be replaced with reusable lunch containers. Families could save $2.32 per child per waste free lunch, which is $417.60 per child per year.
The point of plastic was to be fast and convenient, so yes it would be hard to do more washing reusables. But LOLIWARE is the first biodegr(edible) cup that is 100% plastic-free, gluten-free, gelatin-free, BPA-free, non-GMO, all natural, non-toxic, safe, and FDA approved. They have tons of delicious flavors like Yuzu Citrus, Tart Cherry, Matcha Green Tea, and Vanilla Bean. In the future, LOLIWARE will expand into straws, functional food additions, and even edible water bottles.
It is possible to sustain the environment without compromising lifestyle of people. Change is hard, but "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." ~ The Lorax.
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