Our latest news and upcoming events…
Please support a Plastic Bag Ban
Time to get a grip on our plastic addiction.
Plastic is everywhere now, and it lasts for hundreds of years. It breaks down into micro-plastic beads, bits of plastic that find their way into the soil, water, food, wildlife, and us. (The garbage found in the stomach of a gray whale that washed up in West Seattle included more than 20 plastic bags. See https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/garbage-found-in-stomach-of-dead-whale-on-west-seattle-beach/)
Carol Sullivan, leader of the Skagit BAG BANd Wagon, noted at TF&F’s October gathering that it’s as if we’re in a bathtub that’s filling up, with the faucet still on, and we’re bailing with a tablespoon. Efforts to recycle are great, but we also need to turn off the faucet. Getting rid of single use plastics is a critical part of cleaning up our act.
To add even more urgency, at a time when scientists are saying we have 12 years left to limit a full-on climate change catastrophe, we MUST dramatically reduce our use of oil. Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, which require 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture. https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/population_and_sustainability/sustainability/plastic_bag_facts.html
As plastic degrades it emits methane, a hundred times more potent than carbon dioxide on a 10-year timescale. “Low-density polyethylene, the most commonly used form of plastic worldwide (it’s used in grocery bags), is the highest emitter.” http://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/2018/08/plastic-trash-is-the-latest-source-of-greenhouse-gas/
Help clean up both the waste-stream and the atmosphere by writing to our city council and urging them to support a plastic bag ban in Anacortes.
Below are points you may want to include, as well as emails of our city council. Thank you for your help!
City Council Emails
Laurie Gere – Mayor email@example.com
Ryan Walters – Ward 1 firstname.lastname@example.org
Brad Adams – Ward 2 email@example.com
Eric Johnson – Ward 3 firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Miller – Ward 4 email@example.com
Bruce McDougall – Ward 5 firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Lovelett – Ward 6 email@example.com
Anthony Young – Ward 7 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bag Ban Info
The goal is to reduce litter, reduce emissions, and reduce the considerable costs to a community to dispose of trash.
Nearby towns have already enacted bans: Bellingham, Mukilteo, Friday Harbor, Port Townsend, and La Conner. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel but can refer to their ordinances. Worldwide, more than 60 countries have introduced bans and levies to curb single-use plastic waste (SVHerald, 8-15-18)
What’s NOT banned in a bag ban: meat bags, pet waste bags, bulk item bags, or boxed bags (quart or gallon bags, for example). The only thing banned is single-use bags at the point of sale, at the cash register.
A bag ban would include retail stores only, not restaurants (a health issue).
Paper bags are okay if they contain 40% recycled material and are heavy duty with a handle. Better: bring your own bag. Take them everywhere: book store, clothing store, hardware store.
Some places put a fee on heavy-weight plastic or paper bags: 5 or 10 cents. This helps the retailer cover the cost of stronger bags, and encourages shoppers to bring their own bags. (Those on food assistance programs don’t have to pay the fee) Retailers can even put a logo on the re-usable bags they sell to help advertise their business.
A bag ban is actually cheaper for stores because they don’t have to buy single-use bags. It also gives retailers a one-year transition period to use up existing bags, which also gives time for education.
Some objections to bag bans:
“I use them for my garbage.” You can still buy bags, or you can use the many bags you still receive from a store.
“Pet waste bags”. There are alternatives, as above, or use the bags that cat and dog food come in, or other packaging materials.
“Reusable bags are dirty”. Not as dirty as the cash you handle at the check-out. And you can wash them, you know. A study of retail clerks shows they aren’t bothered by the reusable bags they handle, mostly.
A study in Maryland showed four points to make the program successful:
- Education during the transition
- Incentives to participate
- Information easy to locate on the city or county website
- A fee for plastic and paper bags still offered, and retailers actually collecting the feeA
“Planet or Plastic?” is the feature story in June’s National Geographic. Check it out here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/planetorplastic/
Questions? Contact us at email@example.com
November Monthly Gathering: The Future of Fidalgo's Forests
November 27, 2018
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Anacortes Senior Center, 1701 22nd St.
TF&F Monthly Gathering Presentation
See you on November 27 when former Deception Pass State Park manager Jack Hartt will join with Denise Crowe, former director of the Friends of the Forest, and Jonn Lunsford, current Operations and Forest Lands Manager for the ACFL, to present a program entitled “The Future of Fidalgo’s Forests, and what you can do to make a difference”
The program will talk about issues in the park and the forest lands and what we can do about them. If you are interested in the ACFL Forest Monitoring project, here is your chance to find out the why’s and wherefore’s, and how to get started if helping create baselines studies of our local forests resonates with you.
Free and open to all. Program starts at 6:30 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m.
Our monthly gatherings include a sharing time and programs to help build local resilience and reduce carbon dependency. For more information, visit transitionfidalgo.org.
Faces of TF&F
Transition Fidalgo and Friends’ mission: to raise awareness of and develop solutions to the challenges of climate change, energy uncertainty, and economic instability. Transition Fidalgo & Friends promotes a move away from fossil fuels through decreasing demand, increasing efficiency, supporting renewable energy, and fostering the local production of food, energy, and goods.