Letters

Hottest Topic

Jul 11, 2018

To the Editor:

The ordinances in Long Beach Township and Harvey Cedars curbing single-use plastic bags have become this summer’s hottest topic. Not a week goes by that someone doesn’t write in to The SandPaper either for or against the new rules.

Opinions run the gamut and feelings are strong. The reasons for supporting the ban have been well documented in headlines from The New York Times to the national news networks: Plastic pollution has become our No. 1 environmental problem. Almost no one denies this.

Yet people still resist setting limits on plastic. Those opposed to the LBT and HC ordinances often cite spurious arguments: that reusable canvas bags cause e. coli, paper bags lead to deforestation, and the answer is education not regulation. 

More often they claim that plastic is recyclable. Believe me, it is not – plastic never goes away! It just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces until it winds up in the food we eat and, consequently, us and our children. 

Then there are those who oppose the ordinances based on a gut reaction that limiting single-use plastic bags is government overreach. But we could all list hundreds of instances when the government interferes in our lives for the health and safety of the population at large: speed limits on our highways, bans on deadly pesticides and chemicals, fire-safety codes, etc.

We could argue forever on this topic, and if letters to the editor are any indication, it seems like we have. But, as the cliché goes, “One picture is worth a thousand words.” The Garden Club of Long Beach Island is hoping that an entire film will prove even more persuasive. 

So we’re asking everyone – before they express another opinion or write another letter – to please attend one of the four remaining showings of the award-winning documentary “A Plastic Ocean.” The movie is provocative, depressing and hopeful all at the same time. It’s free and there will be a Q&A afterward to answer all your questions.

The Garden Club of LBI overwhelming supports the current ordinances. It’s the first time in our 60-year history that we’ve supported any legislation, because, yes, we do believe it’s that crucial, especially for a barrier island, to reduce plastic pollution.

We hope to see you at one of the following screenings: Thursday, July 12, 6 p.m., High Point Volunteer Fire Co.; Thursday, July 19, 6 p.m., LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences; Wednesday, Aug. 15, 8 p.m., Farias Surf and Sport, Ship Bottom; Saturday, Oct. 20, 12:30 p.m., Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Co.

Teresa Hagan, president

Garden Club of LBI

 

 

 

 

 

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