Mr. Mayor, act on plastic bag ban now

To the Editor:
We have sent the following letter to Mayor Walsh:

Our names are Calida Beliveau, Clare Ablett, and Eleanor Pelletier, and just like you, we are Originally From Dorchester and love growing up in our neighborhood. As your neighbors, we would like to bring to your attention to how devastating plastic bags are to Boston.

We have been working on the proposal to ban plastic bags with friends and neighbors for over a year and were disappointed to hear that you did not support the bag ban law that was proposed in the City Council. We understand that you want to include this in a larger plan for the city, but we cannot wait any longer: Boston is ready now!

Cities and countries around the world from Cambridge to Cork to Cameroon have banned single use plastic bags. Boston is supposed to be this shining star and a world class city and yet, we are falling behind. Right now our star on the map is covered with plastic bags. If you walk around the city, you’ll see plastic bags everywhere: on the sidewalks, trees, bushes, beaches, in the sewers, storm drains, rivers, and waterways. They are all over our neighborhoods. It’s disgusting!

One thing that is very clear is that once a plastic bag is made, it never really goes away. If it goes in the trash, it just sits in a landfill that the city pays for. If someone tries to recycle it, it blocks the recycling machines and the workers get hurt trying to pull them out. It seems like it is all negative for us and the only people who are winning are the plastic bag makers.

We are a port city with a rich history that should be protected. Our fisheries and aquatic life need to be kept safe from plastics that can get into our seafood and kill wildlife. Tourists who come to the city could be given a Boston reusable bag while they visit, and then bring it home and use it with pride. We can be known as a leader in protecting the planet.

Please support the bag ban that Councilors O’Malley and Michelle Wu have created. If you need more information, we would love to meet with you and talk more about all that we have learned about this important issue. As kids, we will inherit this city and this planet; don’t let us down.Thank you.