News Viewpoints

Plastic Bag Ban Hits Rye Brook

For the past decade, climate change has been taking the world by storm. Ever since the average temperature of the Earth elevated, there has been a multitude of observable impacts on the environment. For instance, hurricanes have proven to become more intense in terms of wind speed and levels of precipitation. Trends have shown an evident correlation between global warming and an unprecedented amount of severe hurricanes forming in the North Atlantic. In addition, the quantity of glaciers around the world has been on the decline, sea levels are rising rapidly, ecosystems are being destroyed, and there is a sudden surge in heatwaves. 

Many have taken efforts to mitigate such a crisis. Low carbon energy technologies, as well as policies to reduce fossil fuel emissions, have been instated. Furthermore, countless people have strived to preserve forests and ensure reforestation. Nevertheless, the ban on plastic bags in several nations is predicted to be the most impactful in our daily lives. 

Active in 2020, New York, Maine, Oregon, and Vermont will be restricting their peoples’ plastic bag usage. With Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Samoa, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, US Virgin Islands, and Guam planning to follow suit one year later. 

I believe that this legislation is a step in the right direction. Plastic bags play an enormous role in global warming. Over 102 billion plastic bags are used each year. However, only a staggering 1-5% of those bags are recycled each year. Meaning, an average family only recycles 15 plastic bags, at most, each year! These bags are flying into the ocean and disrupting marine life. In perspective, our lives are at stake. We may not realize it now, but as time goes on our situation will only worsen. I do not understand why we must oppose an action that will improve our future. After all, it is just so painless to simply bring a reusable bag to the grocery store!