• Local
  • Pittsfield, MA
  • more weather >

Merchants offer inspiring support for single-use plastic water bottle ban

More Info
By Saturday, Jul 28, 2018 Letters 10

To the Editor:

I am inspired and hopeful about the views expressed by Chris and Matt Massiero of Guido’s favoring the ban on single use plastic bottles. They are taking the long view, thinking about future generations. I agree that we must find ways to solve any short-term problems created by such a ban. We don’t want collateral damage in the form of financial hardship for merchants or others.

Neither do we want to choke the planet with plastic.

Check out the June 2018 issue of National Geographic, entitled, “Planet or Plastic?”. It gives a wealth of well-researched information on the consequences of our addiction to plastic along with citing the valuable and necessary uses of plastic.

Regarding Mickey Friedman’s optimism about recycling as a solution, please check out a New York Times article from May 29th of this year entitled, “Your Recycling Gets Recycled, Right? Maybe or Maybe Not.” The backstory is sobering. China will no longer take our recycled materials. All of a sudden material collected on the street may not have a place to go.

Please show up to vote on August 6th. Let’s be leaders.

Sharon Coleman

Great Barrington

10 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Carl Stewart says:

    The most important point made by Sharon Coleman…in my not-so-humble opinion…is the need for all Great Barrington voters to show up for the Special Town Meeting on August 6th. Based on letters to the editor and opinions heard on the street, there is overwhelming support for the plastic bottle ban and the overturn effort will succeed if voters are too complacent about this important issue.

  2. Steve Farina says:

    Sharon, thanks for the link. Here is a quote from one of the articles:
    “Relatively little plastic waste enters the ocean from North America and Europe because of their more robust waste-management systems.”
    There is also a video of the trash on Henderson Island…not a water bottle to be found in the video , as far as I can tell.

    1. Steve Farina says:

      Our robust waste management systems will surely be strained with China’s tightened restrictions on the amount of trash we can include with our recyclables. This is all the more reason we should be using our energy to find comprehensive solutions locally and nationally. We don’t want our recyclable material to end up in a land fill.
      It is time to end the bickering over this infinitesimal ban. It is time to put it behind us and educate people on proper recycling, encourage them to do so (or we could threaten jail time for using plastics like India is doing), and oversee the sorting of the material – anyone ever go to Lenoxdale and see the privately run operation that the Garrity’s have going – Lenox Valley Waste Transfer Facility. They have virtually no contamination in their recycling stream.
      It is time to start courting companies, entrepenuers, and scientists who are on the cutting edge of technology and take this divisive energy we have spending fighting each other and use it to bring technologically advanced recycling to our region – maybe even utilizing an old Mill building or two.
      Repeal the ban, and let’s get on with working together on solutions to the comprehensive issue before us.

      1. Dana Dapolito says:

        Cities and towns across the nation are banning single-use plastic items. Many times it is plastic straws. We have an opportunity on August 6th to demonstrate what kind of town we are.

        We can either be in the forefront of the nationwide movement to ban these items that are destroying our oceans, or selfishly wait until we are forced by state or federal law to do the right thing.

      2. Steve Farina says:

        Did you not read what National Geographic wrote?
        ““Relatively little plastic waste enters the ocean from North America and Europe because of their more robust waste-management systems.”

      3. Richard M Allen says:

        There is no point arguing with those who are on a crusade. Unfortunately, that means realistic solutions will never even be considered.

  3. Barbara Barak says:

    We all have to make whatever contributions that we can to help with the global problem of plastics in every ocean, and now nano particles in our fish. Reliance on corporate fixes is unrealistic and futile given the emergency situation that exists. Let’s hope that we can ban smaller plastic bottles and do our bit for the environment.
    I don’t see any quote in the Scientific American article about plastic waste not coming from North America. I read the article, which is easy to get on line, and am even more horrified by the world- wide problem that exists. No country or continent is exempt from this emergency.

    1. Steve Farina says:

      I copied that quote directly from the link provided in the LTE! It is an article by National Geographic.
      It states what it states. While the oceans are being polluted with plastics and trash of all types, we should be equally concerned about filling our land fills with plastics and any other material which can be recycled or otherwise reclaimed.
      The proponents of this ban used the ocean pollution as reasoning to institute it – and here is a major publication telling you that the plastics
      from North America are a small percentage of the problem. So, we are going after a fraction of a percent of a small percentage of the problem in the oceans – there is no logic in this approach.
      Where are all those people who keep quoting, “Facts matter”? Maybe if I just said, “Trump supports the ban” then 80 % of you would vote it down…
      Really, the solutions to what ails us is right in front of us – and it is not this stupid water bottle ban.

      1. Cynthia LaPier says:

        Unfortunately, isolationism doesn’t translate well to global environmental issues. Fish that is sold in our stores here in town come from oceans filled with plastic particles.
        Also, since China stopped taking our recycling 7 months ago, many large cities in the U.S. are overwhelmed with the back up of plastic that cannot be processed fast enough.
        Another issue with recycling I read about in a Scientific American article (More Recycling Won’t Solve Plastic Pollution July 6, 2018) is that recycled plastic degrades quickly, so it is not made back into plastic bottles again. It is only made into non-recyclable carpets and clothing. This means that we are constantly creating unimaginable amounts of plastic to replace the single use plastic that cannot be used for the same purpose again even with recycling. It’s unmanageable and clearly not sustainable.
        And finally… follow the money. Opponents of the bylaw are always going on about not wanting to be told what to do. Corporations love to make you think they’re protecting your right to have and do whatever you want while they are lobbying our legislators to pass preemption laws that prevent you from having choices. From the Scientific American article referenced above:
        “some plastic producers continue to oppose legislation that would eat into their profit margins. Though California and Hawaii have banned the free distribution of plastic bags at checkout, a result of lobbying is that 10 U.S. states now have preemption laws preventing municipalities from regulating plastic at the local level. Plastic producers see their profits threatened and have taken a familiar tactic, forming the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition and the American Progressive Bag Alliance to fight bag bans under the guise of defending customers’ finances and freedom to choose.”
        Single use plastic was fun while it lasted. It’s over.

  4. Craig Okerstrom-Lang says:

    Hey why does our town require recycling for residential properties only? If folks want to promote more recycling then let’s require commercial properties to recycle. I only see cardboard being recycled on a minimal basis by downtown businesses. It is an unfair effort by our town.

What's your opinion?

We welcome your comments and appreciate your respect for others. We kindly ask you to keep your comments as civil and focused as possible. If this is your first time leaving a comment on our website we will send you an email confirmation to validate your identity.