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Plastic possibly harmful to human health

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By Wednesday, Aug 1, 2018 Letters 9

To the editor:

Many scientific studies of plastic, in particular polyethylene terephthalate or PET, have pointed to possible deleterious effects on human health. It is for anyone to see that plastic is a huge source of pollution on the land and in the ocean. If Disneyland can ban plastic straws, surely we in Great Barrington can ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles.

David Lippman, M.D.
Great Barrington



9 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Steve Farina says:

    If you tried to ban plastic straws in GB, I doubt many would bat an eyelash. I point to Article 23 of this year’s Annual Town Meeting warrant.
    I overall PET plastic use, water bottles make up only a very small fraction of a percent. We ingest/inhale more plastic from our walking on carpet, pulling a sweater over our head, or likely even from scraping a metal knife around the peanut butter jar and spreading it on our sandwich.
    Banning water bottles is not a first step – a first step indicate’s there would be a 2nd. And if we went after peanut butter jars next year..and something else the next, it would still take 1000 years to eliminate just PET use as a food grade source. Then we might start on one of the many other plasti CA in widespread use.
    The water botitle ban makes no impact to the environment, and really makes no sense to continue.

  2. Cynthia LaPier says:

    Read any news paper and you will find evidence that the entire global community is banning plastics, and quickly! We have powerful lobbyists in this country who make these things take a bit longer here, but taking these first steps on a local level is very important to set the wheels in motion. Regardless of how anyone feels about this first step in Great Barrington, these bans and many more will become part of our lives as we and the rest of the planet transition out of our 40 year addiction to single use plastic.

    1. Steven Farina says:

      Of course no one else on this thread addresses the issue put before us in the LTE. When your argument devolves to “the lobbyists and corporations are making us use plastic” and “other places are banning plastics so we need to ban water bottles ” it shows the weakness of the position.

  3. takprod says:

    I am deeply disturbed by the banning of young people from this month’s town meeting on the bottle ban. How does a democratic society ban the voices of the young…..especially on a subject that will impact their health and children’s health for years to come!?
    I first came here in 1969….I was a young dad and felt immediately we had found a place for family raising. Over the years that belief has been tested and likewise rewarded many times. This censorship of the very voices I thought this community listened to is a real blow.
    Please reconsider listening to those we hope will stay here and develop a viable ongoing, healthy and sustainable future in the Berkshires, not one driven by those who put inconvenience ahead of quality of life and health and have chosen to lend a deaf ear to those who want to continue a healthy environment t in our community.

    1. Shawn says:

      I believe the town moderator has stated that young people are not banned, just that those who are actually voting get to speak first.

      1. takprod says:

        That is not what was in the Eagle yesterday.

      2. Cynthia LaPier says:

        Shawn is right. Here is a quote from GB Moderator, Michael Wise, yesterday responding to this issue:

        “A response from the moderator: I was asked last week whether people who are not registered Great Barrington voters, such as students who are not yet registered or merchants who do not live in the town, will be recognized to address the special town meeting. In response, I said that I would recognize Great Barrington voters first. Others who wish to contribute might be recognized to speak later in the process if there is time. They may attend the meeting if there is enough space, after accommodating the voters, to get them into the hall — more likely, into the overflow room.”

  4. Lee says:

    Consumer activism – is valuable and there is a need for it. If it was completely up to corporations and businesses to decide what products should be used and sold, we would still be using DDT, and leaded gasoline. Over 25 years ago I started a series of photographs taken on beaches in the Northeast, documenting plastic waste that gets washed ashore. There is a lot of it out there! Just because we live in an area that is not ‘coastal’ there is still good reason to be active . Fort Myers Florida recently banned plastic straws, as they are adversely affecting the health of sea turtles and other animals living in that area. The environmental degradation of our oceans, including overfishing, is the LARGEST environmental issue currently facing our planet, along with climate change. A ban of this type of bottle is just the beginning! In reality every plastic bottle that is sold should be returnable for a deposit, so that all plastic gets reused and recycled. Sure it is easy to do nothing, harder to take the first steps. Let’s take those first steps, keep on walking, don’t look back…………

    1. Steven Farina says:

      I am curious, Lee, over the 25 years you have been photographing plastic on the NE beaches, what percentage of the overall plastic you have seen there would you honestly assess to be plastic water bottles, particularly of the size and content we ate dealing with on this issue?

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