Letter: Tahoe stores should uphold plastic bag ban | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letter: Tahoe stores should uphold plastic bag ban

I am a student attending South Tahoe High School and the article on the new policy of banning plastic bags in all stores (that is only being encouraged, not enforced) was recently brought to my attention by my environmental science teacher. I was encouraged to email you regarding my opinion on the subject.

I think that all stores, grocery and retail, should banish the use of plastic bags. You probably already know that plastic bags are not biodegradable and may take 1,000 years or more to break down into smaller particles that will continue to pollute the soil and earth. Plastic bags are also extremely dangerous to our Tahoe animals that like to scavenger through the trash in search of tasty treats. If they happen to eat a part of a plastic bag, they won’t be able to digest it and it will continue to clog up their intestines until they can’t eat any more and eventually pass away.

If this new policy begins to be enforced, then it could greatly reduce the amount of animals who die every day because of these plastic bags and improve the aesthetics and ethics of our lovely town.

I understand that many stores may object to this regulation, but maybe they are just looking at it the wrong way. If these stores were to start selling recyclable bags, then they could improve their store economically while being environmentally friendly. It is likely that many people will buy too much to carry and be too lazy to make multiple trips back to the shop. They would find it much faster to just spend the extra 50 cents on each paper bag they use.

Of course, it would be even better for the environment if they spent an extra $5 on a cloth bag that they could easily get their money’s worth by reusing them continuously throughout the years. Many cities around the world have banned the use of plastic bags and are thriving because of it. The few stores that follow the new policy could even get more customers that may be environmentalists who enjoy supporting the businesses that are attempting to reduce the pollution that plastic bags cause. It could also cause them to get publicity as one of the few stores that are beginning to go green and, in turn, get them even more customers.

Kendall Metzger

South Lake Tahoe High School student

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