Target: EPA Director Gina McCarthy
Goal: Ban plastic bags across the United States to put an end to a huge source of pollution.
Plastic grocery bags are one of the biggest polluters of our oceans and environment in the entire world. Every year, 500 billion plastic bags are used by consumers. Studies show that most people who use plastic bags don’t recycle them either–they simply toss them in the trash, or even worse, in the street.
There have also been studies that show that we only recover five percent of the plastic that is used, meaning the rest is sitting somewhere. Manufacturing plastic bags is extremely harmful as the production of the 100 billion plastic bags that Americans use each year results in a billion pounds of solid waste, and 2.7 million tons of CO2 being released into our air.
Beyond the atmospheric pollution that occurs from plastic bags, the biggest ecosystem that is impacted by our plastic bag usage is the ocean. It’s reported right now that we have more plastic bags in our oceans than we do plankton, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per every square mile of ocean. Over 260 marine species are negatively impacted by our use of plastic bags and suffer every day as a result of our careless plastic waste.
Several cities and states have already taken initiatives to ban plastic bags to help curb the damage that has already been done. San Francisco was one of the first to ban these bags, Portland followed suit, and the state of California as a whole banned them from being used. This is only a drop in the bucket of what needs to be accomplished if we truly want to protect our environment from any more unnecessary damage.
The job of the Environmental Protection Agency is just that, the agency that protects our environment. So why, after extensive research has been done to prove that there is no benefit to plastic bags, has it not done something about it? The organization has idly stood by for years as research has been conducted that effectively proves that plastic bags are one of the top polluters of this planet. Demand that the EPA step up and ban the sale of plastic bags in the United States.
Dear Gina McCarthy,
Plastic bags have been running amok in our environment for far too long. We are producing 100 billion plastic bags in the U.S. alone each year, of which only five percent of gets reused. This means that the billions of tons of CO2 and solid waste produced from this practice is all in vain, as the plastic doesn’t even get recycled. So every year we produce more and more plastic bags, creating more and more waste and damage to our environment, while you stand and just allow it to happen.
Your job is to protect the environment. It’s in your very name, yet with all the research and concrete, tangible evidence laid out in front of you, you stand like a deer in headlights, unsure what to do. Here’s an answer for your uncertainty–ban the production, sale, and use of plastic bags immediately.
We more than have the resources to recycle paper and cardboard to reuse them for future grocery bags. In fact, most grocery bags are already made of recycled material, so the production is there already. There’s almost no point for the production of plastic bags to continue when they’ve been proven to be more harmful than helpful. Follow the lead of California, Portland, and many other locations that have taken the liberty to ban plastic bags.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Citizens Campaign For The Environment