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Herald-Mail Forums

August 13, 2007

Last week's question:

Recently, officials of the City of Annapolis announced they were considering banning plastic shopping bags to help preserve the Chesapeake Bay. Is that a good idea, or is there a better way to improve bay water quality?

· Great idea. Now if we can only get them to stop people from dumping their trash into the bay, too. And also the industry that dumps toxic waste into the bay.

· Unless we're talking about the production of plastic bags that's causing the water quality issues, I don't see how banning bags is going to help water quality. Litter is by no means the only source of the problem. Fertilizer run-off, industry by-product, flushing the potty - all have to do with the water quality in the bay.

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· This is all talk. When will they actually do something about the problem?

· Of course there are better ways to help preserve the bay but nevertheless, it is a good idea, because so many people litter and these plastic bags take centuries to disintegrate.

If the flush tax is now statewide, can a plastic bag ban be far behind? And, after that, a real hefty tax on McMansions, SUVs, ATVs, and the list goes on. The government will use its power to ban and tax in place of the power of the marketplace - just watch your government "grow like Topsy."

· Ban both plastic and paper and use cloth bags.

· A better way: Start by making Pennsylvania and West Virginia clean up the rivers and streams in their states that end up in the bay.

· Well, it might be a first step.As one of my favorite sayings goes, every long trip begins with one step. However, given the size of the problem, I think it's like going out to water the garden with one 20-ounce bottle full, but there are good suggestions above.

· We need to put the prisoners to work on some of these projects. It would be more hands and we are already paying for them.

· Half the fresh water to the bay is supplied by a single river and on that river sits Three Mile Island. Call me pessimistic, but the natural bay is gone, it will never be the same. It is poisoned beyond levels we will never truly know. This ban will only improve the visual quality of the bay; impact on the water quality will be minimal.

· I think that preserving the bay will take more than one good idea. Banning plastic bags may be one, but we will need not just good ideas, but a change in perspective that allows us to acknowledge that the pursuit of our desires is not without its enviornmental consequences.

Can we give up our perfect lawn in the knowledge that fertilizers and weed killers will find their way into the bay?

Can we omit that extra trip for the ice cream that we forgot to pick up at the store because that extra trip will generate extra pollution? Do we throw items out the car window or empty our ashtrays by the side of the road?

There are any number of things that rely on personal choice that could make a substantive difference in our immediate environment, as well as that of the bay, if we all did them. How many of us will do these things without the incentive of legislation? Not enough, alas.

· Banning plastic shopping bags is a good idea. In addition to polluting our environment, the massive use of plastic bags depletes the world's oil supply at a faster rate. Everyone could buy a few of those reusable canvas bags and carry them to the grocery store when they shop.

· Save the bay. I'm in and I will buy the cloth bags if need be.

· If I bought three cloth bags, I would have to make at least four trips to the grocery store.

I could buy 12 bags instead of a tank of gas, but what would I put my dog's poop in?

I'm still trying to figure out what cheap plastic bags have to do with the bay. How can you push recycling with one hand and then ban plastic bags with the other? Plastic bags are not the problem with the bay.

· Absolutely! And this is about way more than the bay. This is about thinking ahead to how life on Earth will be for our great-grandchildren.

Both oil (used to make plastic bags) and space for landfills on this earth are finite. I challenge others to think of a reason, beyond convenience, that people could not adjust to using paper and, better yet, reusable bags for all of their routine purchases. Good question, Herald-Mail!

· Yes that is a very great idea. I think brown paper bags are the way to go. We are recycle-friendly and brown bags are from recycled paper. This is a great way to see our recycle program at work

· It is an excellent idea. The bags are not being properly recycled and are filling up landfills. They don't hold as much as paper bags so you need to use more of them for the same amount of groceries. Most places have to also double-bag because the plastic bags are not strong enough to hold the groceries.




This week's question:

Gary Maynard, Maryland's new Secretary of Public Safety & Correctional Services, will be in Hagerstown Aug. 29. for a breakfast meeting. If you could ask him one question, what would it be?

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