Connecticut Environment Committee and Connecticut General Assembly : Ban single-use paper and plastic bags in CT now!
This petition is now closed.
Since their introduction into grocery stores in the 1970s, plastic bags have
been bad news for both humans and the environment. Due to low cost
and convenience, they are in widespread use, despite disastrous effects
to ecosystems around the world.
Plastic bags account for the deaths of 100,000 turtles and marine animals
every year, and during decomposition emit toxins like DDT that can
concentrate in the ocean up to 1,000,000 times the levels of normal
seawater. These chemicals also infiltrate into vital agricultural soils,
jeopardizing the human food supply and compromising the health of the
The environmental consequences of plastic bags are just as serious as
the financial ones. Cities, states, and countries all over the globe have
abolished the use of plastic bags for purely economic reasons; the clean
up costs are extremely high. The
state of Connecticut is no exception; in 2014, it spent over 20 million tax
dollars managing plastic waste, repairing damage caused to expensive
recycling systems by plastic bags, and cleaning up litter. For consumers,
the additional costs of plastic bags in embedded food prices ranged from
Don't settle for convenience; don't let plastic bags poison our future.
Take a small but significant step to save the environment today by telling
our legislators to pass a ban on plastic bags. Together, we can keep
Connecticut clean and green.
To Connecticut Environment Committee and Connecticut General Assembly:
I support a ban on all one-time-use paper and plastic shopping bags in Connecticut. Millions of paper and plastic bags are used annually in this state alone, and then thrown away after a single use, destroying soil, killing animals, and polluting waterways.
Most plastic bags end up in landfills and do not fully break down for thousands of years. During decomposition, toxic chemicals are transmitted that seep into soil and water, compromising the productivity of agricultural lands and undermining ecosystems.
As the second most common form of marine refuse, countless numbers of plastic bags fill oceans every year, choking and poisoning marine wildlife. Marine and land animals alike ingest plastic. Turtles are the greatest casualties, mistaking the bags for jellyfish; an estimated 85% of all sea turtles are killed or injured by plastic in their lifetime. According to some estimates, 100,000 marine mammals die from plastic bags each year – and this statistic doesn’t include the casualties on land. As plastic bags degrade into smaller pieces in the ocean, they attract DDT and other toxins that become concentrated at up to 1,000,000 times the levels present in normal seawater.
The key ingredient of plastic bags is petroleum – a quickly diminishing nonrenewable resource that causes damage to the environment upon extraction. Production requires huge amounts of energy and introduces large quantities of air pollution into the atmosphere. The additional fossil fuel costs of the transportation of bags from Asia hurt the environment. In short, plastic bags have a huge energy footprint.
Plastic bags not only devastate the environment, but also have a significant economic impact. The state of Connecticut spends millions of tax dollars each year to transport an overflow of plastic bags to landfills, to repair costly recycling equipment damaged by plastic bags, and to clean up litter, particularly in waterways and oceans. And, as grocery stores include the cost of producing plastic bags in their food prices, a bag ban would save consumers $18-$30 annually.
I urge you to take action immediately on this issue by imposing a state-wide ban on all single use plastic bags. Together we can make a difference.
Thanks to Environment Massachusetts, the Wall Street Journal, and the Governor's 2014-2015 Budget for the state of Connecticut for the statistics. Image courtesy of Surfrider.