You can now read 10 articles a month for free. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Red Sox Live

0

1

▼  6th Inning 0 outs

letters | plastic bags banned in brookline

Many urgent reasons for ban on throwaway bags

As one of the proponents of the restrictions on throwaway plastic bags in Brookline, I was disappointed that the article “The bag wars” (Ideas, Nov. 25) downplayed or omitted some of the strongest reasons for banning these checkout bags at retailers. Unlike many other products made of nonrenewable fossil fuels, plastic throwaway bags are easily replaced. There is a ready substitute: reusable bags made of cloth or canvas.

More important, unlike natural products that biodegrade, we never get rid of the polyethylene in bags. The bags float in the ocean, as the article noted, and they have accumulated in a big mass in the Pacific. In addition, the bags break down into invisible pieces the size of water molecules and cannot be filtered out of our water.

Continue reading below

These small particles are eaten by animals, entering our food chain. Eventually the small pieces of plastic are in the food and water, often having picked up toxins along the way. This is a much more troublesome problem than merely the fact that they accumulate as unsightly litter.

Plastic throwaway bags are a serious threat to the health of living things. The fact they are replaceable with other alternatives makes banning them even more of a no-brainer.

Andrew M. Fischer

Brookline

The writer is a member of Brookline Town Meeting.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week