Petition to Mayor Sylvester Turner and City Council of Houston
Bag-Free Bayous Houston
We ask you to pass an ordinance that increases the use of reusable bags and decreases the use of single-use bags, especially plastic ones. Every year, about 300 million pounds of plastic are produced, but only 10 percent is recycled. It is estimated that Americans go through about 100 billion plastic bags a year, or 360 bags per year for every man, woman, and child in the country. Many of these bags end up on the streets and sidewalks or caught in tree branches. Others wind up in bayous. Not only does the litter look bad and hurt wildlife in the bayous, it washes into our bays, the Gulf of Mexico, and beyond. The adoption of reusable bags could save taxpayer dollars related to cleanup costs. Cities all over the world have cut the use of single-use plastic bags including Austin, Brownsville, Laredo, and the small town of Kermit, Texas. The most effective policy is a ban on plastic bags and a small fee on paper bags. Another option is to place a small fee on both plastic and paper bags. In some cities, the fees go to the retailer for their costs and in others they also help pay for cleaning up litter. Let’s make Houston a shining example of environmental responsibility! I encourage you to take a stand for beautiful bayous and streets! About this Petition:I am Lila Mankad, a 4th grader in Ms.Caraways's class at Travis Elementary in Houston. I live near Little White Oak Bayou, and it bothers me that it's full of trash. I've noticed that one of the main problems is plastic bags. As long as I can remember, they have been waving in the trees more abundantly than the Spanish Moss. Sadly, the the problem with plastic bags isn't just that they look trashy. They kill wildlife, block our waterways, and make Houston look like it doesn't care about the Earth.That might be the old Houston,but not the Houston I grew up in, or the Houston of tomorrow. I want to be the kind of person who changes the world instead of complaining. I want to be the kind of person that solves problems instead of creating them. I want Houston to be a city that really believes "it's worth it". For these reasons, I have joined together with my friend Caoilin Krathaus to start this petition to dramatically reduce the use of plastic bags by banning them or placing a fee on their use. And I know we can do it because cities across the world have made similar bans and reduced pollution drastically. Please sign this petition and help Houston be known for moss in it's trees instead of plastic.--------------------------------------------------------------------------  Wassimer, Bettina. “Raising Awareness of Plastic Waste.” New York Times, August 14, 2001. Accessed May 1, 2016.  Gamerman, Ellen. September 26, 2008. Wall Street Journal. Accessed May 1, 2016.  Surfrider Foundation. "Rise Above Plastics Toolkit." Surfrider.og. Accessed May 1, 2016.