Letter to the Editor

On Plastic Bags

Dear Editor,

Recently, Brad Verter, Founder of the Mass Green Network, reported that the Mass State Plastic Bag Bill has been significantly changed by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. The original bill, which would have been one of the strongest bag laws in the country, is now destined to be one of the country’s worst bag laws if the gutted bill passes.

The changes out of committee are as follows:

• “reverses the progress made by cities and towns that already have strong bag 

• laws and prohibits future local attempts to reduce bag pollution (will hinder local  

• grassroots action regarding elimination of single use plastic bags).

• “Revised bill” did away with small charges on paper bags (putting a modest fee 

• on paper bags is the most effective way to reduce waste/pollution from single

• use plastic bags”).

• “changed bill will allow thicker plastic bags”.

This changed bill will move our state backwards, especially compared to bills positively passed in Maine, Vermont and New York.

I was fortunate to have my nephew bring back this information from his recent trip to Alaska:

“How Big is Your Plastic Footprint”

While acknowledging that plastics has provided many contributions, it also states “its adverse effects is sadly the major source of solid pollution on our planet as it is not biodegradable”. Information given: 

• 50 percent of all plastics produced is only used once!

• The average American throws out 185 pounds a year!

• In the U.S. only 7 percent of all plastics is recycled!

• 95 percent of marine debris is plastic!

• Nearly every ounce of plastic that has ever been produced still exists!

• Plastics is not Biodegradable!

Alaska Sealife Center, marinedebris.noaa.gov

We are most fortunate to have two strong and knowledgeable political leaders in our community: Speaker Robert DeLeo (617-722-2500) and Sen. Joseph Boncore 

(617-722-1634). Please call and encourage both of them to support the original bill “Reusable Plastic Bags” H.711/S.462 and also encourage their fellow colleagues to do the same.

Maryalice Sharkey and Mothers Out Front

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