In response to Stu McDonald’s letter, it doesn’t matter if the plastic bag problem (and it is a major problem) hasn’t affected Canada as much … yet. More than 4.8 million metric tons of plastic gets dumped into the world’s oceans from land each year. But that is just an estimate as scientists believe it could be higher, reaching 12.7 million metric tons. That is a lot. Don’t think that this will not affect us.
We should be concerned now, rather than later. Seeing the ban as an attack on our personal freedom I think is a “first world problem.” There are more pressing matters I would consider an attack on freedom. Laws are created and passed by government all the time — is every one an attack on our freedom? This particular ban would stop the use of plastic bags, but I believe it would be beneficial, not sinister.
With the world changing at an alarming rate, we should be more willing to make changes for our welfare, not passing it off as unimportant in the here and now. Sure, we could wait, but what will the consequences be? Any change that will help the earth and environment now should be seen as an investment for future generations, our planet and ourselves. I don’t think we can afford to jeopardize what we have here, even if it is far off.
We live in a system dependent on plastic and we all contribute in some way to a massive amount of garbage/pollution per year, but if we can find ways, no matter how small, to lessen the impact, I think it will be a step forward. If we can’t set an example, who will?
People who reuse plastic bags, like myself, would be affected. I use them for small garbage bags and for our cat’s litter box. I believe there are ways to make a ban work. Even without a ban, those who are concerned can bring re-usable bags, baskets, or cardboard boxes when shopping. Stores should charge for the plastic being used. If you want plastic bags, you pay for them. Also large companies should limit their use of plastic in packaging — they are huge contributors to waste.
Whether a ban is adopted or not, we should take the initiative to learn about how our lifestyles affect the environment and see what we can do to improve our planet so it remains a beautiful place for us and future generations. Let’s not destroy what we have.
Kamala Melzack, Nelson