Letter: Falmouth should ban plastic shopping bags

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I fully support a ban on plastic bags that are used to carry items out of Falmouth’s stores. As a compromise to make this ban more palatable to Falmouth’s businesses and to encourage reusable bags, I suggest a small paper bag fee such as 5 cents, which the merchant could keep.

Plastic bags are forever. That is what we have to remember. Forever. They land in our waters, on our roadsides and there they sit. They foul our landscape, drift into trees, kill marine life, clog our drainage and waste systems, and become part of the massive toxic plastic garbage patches in our oceans. Is it worth it to permanently foul our world for the convenience of plastic over paper or canvas bags?

There are those who argue that it takes more resources to make and ship paper bags than it does plastic bags. Long term, the plastic does far more damage. At least paper bags will rot away in our oceans, roadsides and parks. Also, unlike plastic from petro chemicals, paper comes from a renewable resource.

And please, dog owners, if you must leave your shopping bags containing dog feces on the sides of trails and sidewalks, please at least buy biodegradable dog bags.

If you’d like the town of Falmouth to know how you feel on this topic, go online and take the Falmouth “single use plastic shopping bag survey.” There is really no excuse except pure selfishness for us to continue to use plastic shopping bags.

Susan Hall