Since the 60's until now, Americans have become one of the world's biggest consumers of plastic bags due to our well-known need for shopping and convenience. For far too many years, plastic bags have been disregarded as simple and convenient carrying devices that only have the capabilities to hold our purchased items. WE ARE SEVERELY MISTAKEN.
In actuality, plastic bags pose various threats to our ecosystems, kill thousands of animals every year, tarnish our beautiful rivers and oceans, our energy availability, our recycling factories, our over-flowing landfills and much more. It is easy for someone to ask, " How can a few plastic bags create so much damage to so many things?" This is where another major issue comes in. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, somewhere between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are used around the world every year. Therefore, not only are far too many people unaware towards the dangers of plastic bags, but increasingly continue to consumer more, waste more and eventually harm our environment more. But the problem doesn't end there! As many people are beginning to know about more, we as country have reached our peak oil limit, and are beginning to decline down the slope of oil availability. As our fossil fuels inevitably begin to decrease to the point where there isn't any left, we use almost 1.6 billion barrels of oil to manufacture plastic bags in a year alone! We are unknowingly adding wood to a very big fire.
It is time we begin taking action before it is too late to do anything at all, and thankfully enough there are several ways to start. The first and most significant step is to ban plastic bag distribution from all stores. These plastic bags can easily be replaced with cloth, hemp, or other environmentally friendly materials than can be reused as many times as you want. They are as cheap, durable and convenient as plastic bags are, yet contain so many more environmental advantages. Both my partner and I want to begin at a smaller and more realistic level by demanding the New Paltz Chairwoman for Environmental Conservation to acknowledge and take legal action on our petition. My partner and I strongly hope that with the much appreciated support you all we can begin to make a change.