Letter to the Editor:
As I listen to discussion and inform myself about the environmental harms of our human plastics use, I feel compelled to add my voice to those in support of the request that Newport City Council draft and evaluate an ordinance that restricts the option of on-going flow of single use plastics into our city, our garbage/landfills, and as roadside trash.
Human beings are not likely to make behavioral changes without either knowledge leading to personal motivation to find creative solutions for the habitual, or a socially compelling limitation of accessibility to the offending items like plastic bags, straws, styrofoam etc.. Given the cost – not only for the process of a public vote but the cost to streams, rivers, ocean, and living beings who ingest or are entangled in this waste, I urge council to be courageous in their leadership and enact an ordinance in protection of life in the Newport part of the coastal ecosystem. Perhaps someone in the biologic sciences would evaluate the impact of such a ban locally to demonstrate expected and perhaps unexpected benefits of such a ban. Or others may help teach consumers other ways of accomplishing tasks that have been conveniently done with plastics. This action is also one small step in freeing us from our fossil fuel dependence and habits. Let’s start moving forward!