BYO Fairfield

Joining our neighbors along the Connecticut coast to reduce the use of plastic check-out bags, Fairfield will be implementing its own “Reusable Check-Out Bag Ordinance” in the near future.

Fairfield Reusable Checkout Ordinance (RCBO) has been tabled in the Legal and Administration (L & A) Committee of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) waiting to be considered and acted upon.

The wait is to allow for additional public education and gather support of the ordinance.  Co-sponsor, Rep. Heather Dean, RTM D3, believes it will be discussed and acted upon during the March 18th L & A Committee meeting.  Once it is approved in the L & A committee, it will go before the entire RTM body during the April 29th RTM meeting to be voted into law.

Let’s do this, Fairfield!

Joining our neighbors along the Connecticut coast to reduce the use of plastic check-out bags, Fairfield will be implementing its own “Reusable Check-Out Bag Ordinance” in the near future. By eliminating plastic check-out bags and encouraging the use of reusable ones, Fairfield’s ordinance will dramatically reduce the distribution of the wasteful pollutants that are choking Long Island Sound, and our oceans more broadly.   With this change, Fairfield alone will reduce the use of millions of plastic bags each year.

Our town’s commitment to Reusable Check-Out Bags aligns with the global effort to stop the crisis of plastic in our oceans, which is threatening our eco-system and posing serious health risks for generations to come. BYOFairfield.org will serve as a resource for the community and retailers alike, to learn about the initiative and how to implement this necessary change.

Why Plastic Should Be Banned…

Plastic Bags are hurting us physically, financially and our environment.  If Fairfield banned plastic bags, we would be making a huge difference.  We could help inspire other towns to do the same, and just our town would save up to five million bags per year.

Plastic in our Fish… and Our Bodies

Plastic bags aren’t only hurting animals and plants but they are also hurting us.  When plastic gets eaten by fish and the fisherman catch them, we are eating that same plastic in our food.  Plastic bags are made out of oil, which is poisonous to us.

Susan Smillie, the Food Editor for the Guardian, in her article From Sea to Plate writes, “Scientists at Ghent University in Belgium recently calculated that shellfish lovers are eating up to 11,000 plastic fragments in their seafood each year. We absorb fewer than 1%, but they will still accumulate in the body over time.” And even though that doesn’t seem that bad, it certainly is, as you are still consuming the toxic oil. So next time you find yourself eating seafood, think about the plastic fragments that could be in it.

Plastic in Our Air

All around the world the oceans are filled with plastic.  What many don’t know is the plastic turns into tiny pieces called microplastic. The problem with this is that all the microplastic become a cloud.

Writer Ilima Loomis calls it plastic smog. When the plastic smog comes into the air it pollutes the air and can affect everyone’s health. Charles Moore was on an expedition off the coast of Chile when he saw that the pile of trash was bigger than the size of India and most off it was the microplastic. According to Earthworks, an organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the impacts of irresponsible mineral and energy development, “oil and gas drilling releases a slew of toxic air contaminants, including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds.” This means we could be breathing every single one of those right now.

Animals are Dying

One by one animals are dying.  Image you leave a plastic bag outside and it blows away to the beach. It lands in the ocean and drifts out to the sea. Soon a turtle finds it. It eats it thinking it food. It suffocates to death in a matter of 3 minutes. Plastic bags are covering our earth in both our oceans and our land. We use up to 1 trillion bags a year and over 100 million marine animals are killed each year due to plastic. That means multiple animals die each day. And it takes time out of our life to clean it. Animals are dying each day from plastic bags just for our convenience

Financially Speaking… It Doesn’t Add Up!

Not only are plastic bags harming our animals, our bodies and our environment, they are also causing us to lose money.    Plastic bags cost one cent to make, and even though paper bags cost 3 or 4 more cents to make, it costs about $4,000 to recycle one ton of plastic bags.  Paper bags are recycled along side other paper, which costs $50 to recycle one ton.

This presentation was created by Roger Ludlowe Middle Schooler, Lucia Teel, as her submission to the “Passion Project” program.

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