Eliminate problem by eliminating plastic bags

Did you know there is a movement afoot in Cheboygan to reduce plastic shopping bags?

We met Hannah, a student from Alpena, at Cheboygan’s Earth Expo on April 12. She was there to educate Expo visitors on the problem of plastics in general. Plastic bags are a big part of the picture. Check out her FB page Plastic/Floats.

We also have a Facebook page, loaded with facts. Check out Cheboygan First in Reducing Plastic Bags. We hope to be the first in Michigan. I thought it might be fun to have a little competition for “first” in the state.

In the oceans marine life gets entangled in plastic bags, killing up to one billion a year. These bags are bad news from start to the finish. We squander finite oil in making the bags. The manufacture process results in toxins going “somewhere.” We use these bags on avg. 20 minutes from store to trash receptacles at home.

According to the EPA only five percent of plastic shopping bags are recycled. So where do the other 95 percent go? In some cases they end up in the oceans. There is a floating island twice the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean. Other bags end up in landfills where they break down over time, some end up in our food chain. The waste is toxic to our soil. It will take thousands of years to finally disappear.

While we do want to be “first.” it’s far more important that all communities join the movement. Over 100 municipalities within 16 states have passed ordinances to reduce. Chicago recently passed a plastic bag ordinance, the first community in the Great Lakes region to do so.

Takes only two persons to start. Who will follow the example of your own H.S. student?

Karen and David Martin

Cheboygan