Ban the bag

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 7:45pm

Plastic is choking our oceans and killing marine life.

Banning single-use plastic bags should not really be too much of a debate. We urge the Town Council, at its next meeting, to take what will be a largely symbolic measure and pass the ordinance banning the plastic bags that was crafted by the Planning Board. The measure will be symbolic because, in truth, plastic comes to the island by as many different conveyances that bring people — boats, cars, planes — so banning it from the island would be impossible. Even enforcing the ordinance will be difficult. 

We also understand the economic end of the argument: plastic is cheaper than paper, and it’s more convenient than re-usable bags.

But the damage caused by plastic to our oceans and fragile ecosystems has been enormous. This is not arguable, nor is it a discussion weighted with political undertones. This is not climate change.

Again, banning single-use plastic bags on the island would be largely symbolic. But Block Island, if it stands for anything, stands for protecting the environment and a vote by the Council on the bags will be in keeping with that philosophy.