The Newport City Council will be asked Monday evening to begin taking steps to ban single use shopping bags as Newport’s contribution to reducing the amount of microscopic bits of plastic that is building up in our air, oceans and in our bodies.
Scientists say our environment is loading up with microscopic pieces of plastic that are increasingly blamed for human lung problems from plastic’s Endocrine Disruptor Chemicals (EDC’s) which are also suspected of causing fertility problems along with hormone dysfunctions in humans. Researchers say these EDC’s from decomposing plastic bags and other plastic objects triggers higher amounts of body fat in children, increases the risk of miscarriages, premature births and raises the risk of prostate cancer…and that they are all showing up across all socio-economic classes.
On top of all that, ecologists point to microplastic threats to wildlife, including fish – both freshwater and ocean varieties.
And then there’s the unsightliness of plastic bags, styrofoam food containers, plastic and styrofoam cups among other microplastic producing containers.
The Newport City Council will be hearing a vigorous debate Monday evening among local residents as to what can be done to shrink the Newport area’s contribution to this dilemma – even through it’s a world-wide problem. On one side of the issue there will be those who say that we need to put a “deposit” on plastic bags just like deposits are placed on bottles and cans. But critics say that such bags are not recyclable because the plastic has been broken down so far that it doesn’t “up scale” back into to a re-useable form. So the bags remain a chronic threat to the environment. Even burning them is self-defeating because their chemical components re-enter the earth’s air, land and waters.
These and other observations about the growing problem of single-use plastic bags will be throughly debated before the Newport City Council Monday evening, starting at 6pm at Newport City Hall, 169 SW Coast Highway.