To: Kim Gaffett, First Warden, New Shoreham Town Council, Ken Lacoste, Second Warden, New Shoreham Town Council, Sean McGarry, Councilor 3, New Shoreham Town Council, Norris Pike, Councilor 4, New Shoreham Town Council, Chris Warfel, Council...
BLOCK THE BAG: Ban Plastic Bags on Block Island
Please support a ban on the distribution of plastic checkout bags by retailers in order to promote the health, safety, welfare, and cleanliness of Block Island and its citizens and wildlife.
Why is this important?
*Note: Ken Lacoste is now acting First Warden. Names and titles can not be changed once signatures have been accumulated, and this petition has been in place with titles from 2013.
Plastic pollution is categorized as one of the greatest threats to our marine environment, notably called a global environmental catastrophe . Plastic bags, straws, cups, wrappers, utensils and more scatter the beaches and float in the waters never to biodegrade or disappear. It is estimated that 6 million pieces of trash enter the ocean every day. This trash affects over 600 species that depend on the ocean for survival . Plankton, urchins, crabs, shrimp, mollusks, sea birds, marine mammals, fish, sea turtles, sharks and many more have been victims of entanglement or plastic ingestion, leading to death. Further, plastics contain persistent organic pollutants, toxic chemicals that affect both animal and human health. These chemicals have been shown to negatively affect animals who have unknowingly consumed ocean plastic, making its way up the food chain, and perhaps to your dinner plate. We can help solve this problem by eliminating unnecessary plastic from our daily lives such as plastic bags, water bottles, straws, disposable cutlery, cups, plates and more.
Block Island is a pristine island 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island, and we have a duty to protect this island and it's surrounding waters. Plastic bags are pervasive and detrimental to our environment. Hundreds of other cities around the world have banned plastic bags, including Barrington, the first city in Rhode Island to pass a plastic bag ban. If Block Island does the same, they could set an example for other island and coastal communities striving to make a positive environmental impact.
In a trip to the western coast of Australia, I visited a small coastal community called Exmouth. The local grocery store noted that plastic bags were banned in the community. You either brought your own bag or bought a reusable one at checkout - the town's primary care was their environment and conserving the ocean around them. Block Island should have the same concern. I urge you to stand with me to ban plastic bags on Block Island. It's time to take a stand to protect our environment and keep our ocean and beaches clean. The ocean is in hurting, and we can make a difference by reducing and eliminating our plastic waste. Next step is plastic cups and straws, but for now, lets BLOCK THE BAG!