WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Letter to the Editor: Citizens favor ban on plastic bags

Plastic Bag Ban now before the Newport City Council for consideration.

We are writing to support the Newport Ordinance to ban the use of single-use plastic bags. These bags predominantly used by retail stores and restaurants.

The plastic problem is well documented. The evidence of the damage plastic has on the ocean and environment is overwhelming. Charging for plastic bags (nominal fee) and complete bans have been implemented in many parts of the world from 2003 (Denmark, Ireland), 2008 (China), 2008 (Rwanda), 2012 (Sao Paulo Brazil). Over 60 countries now have bans on single-use plastic bags.

The data showing success includes 85% reduction in plastic bags (UK since 2015), the EU announced in 2015 it required its members to reduce plastic bags by 80% by 2019. Prior to the 2008 Olympic Games, China placed a ban on all thin plastic bags and began requiring retailers to charge a tax on thicker bags. The Chinese government has said that this has led to a two-thirds reduction in plastic bag use.

More than 13 cities in Oregon already have bag bans including Bend, Corvallis, Eugene, Lake Oswego, Manzanita, Portland and Salem.

Newport and the coastal communities depend on a clean, healthy ocean for fishing and tourism. All of humanity depends on a healthy ocean as it is a major regulator of our weather. We are already experiencing erratic and severe natural disasters as the health of the ocean continues to decline rapidly. We are out of time. We must act now.

As adults we have a responsibility to take care of the planet for the children of today and tomorrow. Banning single-use plastics bags is the right thing to do. Fewer bags used, equals fewer bags lost, equals fewer bags in the ocean.

Time matters:

“Scientists have found micro plastics in 114 aquatic species and more than half of those end up on our dinner plate” – National Geographic
“2 million plastic bags are used worldwide every minute” – http://www.earth-policy.org/press_room/C68/plastic_bags_fact_sheet
“100 BILLION plastic bags are used by Americans every year. Tied together, they would reach around the Earth’s equator 773 times!”-http://www.earth-policy.org/press_room/C68/plastic_bags_fact_sheet

Thanks,

Richard and Diya Heal
Seal Rock, OR

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