Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions


Source: Newsday


Posted: January 18, 2018
Originally Published: January 17, 2018

The bag fee is a huge step for Long Island. We love our beaches and marine life, and plastic bags are a threat.

Research by the activist organization Whale and Dolphin Conservation shows that at least 557 marine species might be affected through entanglement or ingestion of plastic.

Bags are the plastic item most commonly ingested by sea turtles. Bags can block their intestines, injuring or killing them, or cause them to slow or even stop reproduction. Half of all sea turtles worldwide have ingested plastic!

Hundreds of thousands of seabirds ingest plastic each year, causing them to starve, and it’s estimated that 60 percent of seabirds have ingested plastic. Larger marine mammals like whales commonly ingest or get entangled in plastic.

These bags were never free. The cost of the single-use bags is factored into the cost of every item at stores.

As someone who has almost exclusively used canvas bags the past few years, I have been subsidizing other customers’ plastic-bag use. That doesn’t seem fair, does it?

Valerie Virgona, Islip

Editor’s note: The writer is a member of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, an activist group.