LETTER: Time for Port Angeles to give up plastic bags

What’s wrong with the Port Angeles reusable bag initiative?

Absolutely nothing.

This initiative to replace the pervasive plastic shopping bags with reusable bags is important to human health, as well as our land and marine life.

Why should we give up our throw-away plastic bags?

According to a new study (Live Science, July 9, 2017) between the 1950’s and 2015 humans have produced approximately nine billion tons of plastic.

Contrary to common belief, those thin plastic bags are minimally recycled and never completely biodegrade.

They do breakdown releasing toxic additives into landfills, soils and waters, according to media reports.

Many of these chemicals may disrupt the endocrine system — the delicately balanced set of hormones and glands that affect virtually every organ and cell in the bodies of humans and animals. (Eco Watch, Aug 6, 2013)

According to figures cited by the United Nations, there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans by 2050 unless people stop using single-use plastic items such as plastic bags and plastic bottles.

In the ocean, plastic debris injures and kills fish, seabirds and marine mammals.

Plastic pollution has impacted at least 267 marine species worldwide.

This is dangerous for people, as well.

The toxic compounds that are associated with plastics bioaccumulate in fish tissues which could further bioaccumulate in people who consume the fish, according to the Washington Post.

For the sake of ourselves and our planet, it’s time for us to give up those throw-away plastic bags.

What’s a little inconvenience compared to a healthy tomorrow?

Janet Marx,

Port Angeles

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