With much of the United States now trapped in a vicious cycle of climate change-induced heat, wildfires, droughts, flooding, and storms, coupled with the COVID-19 delta variant, it is easy to lose sight of other equally important environmental problems, such as single-use plastics in our environment.
Plastic bags, straws and other single-use plastic items use enormous amounts of fossil fuels, create litter, pile up in landfills and kill birds and marine organisms. Sure, they are convenient, but at an unsustainable cost to our environment. The good news is that there are plenty of sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics. Like climate change, when it comes to plastic bag bans, we have the solutions, but often we lack the political will or financial incentive to make them happen. And like climate change, the more we delay, the worse it will be for our oceans, the health of marine organisms, and our own health.
Now more than ever, it is imperative that West Goshen Township (WGT) residents act locally to help safeguard our shared global environment. The Sustainability Advisory Committee (SAC) is overjoyed to report that during the August 2021 meeting, the Board of Supervisors (BOS) has directed the Township solicitor to draft an ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags and straws. The vote passed 4-1, and the ordinance will be brought to the BOS for review. If approved, it will be advertised for a public hearing. We aspire to create an ordinance that works for all members of the Township and achieves our goals for a more sustainable future. Subsequently, there will be an official vote by the BOS to adopt the ordinance.
How can you help? We need to get the message out to everyone in the Township: businesses, customers, residents, and students. Initially, we hope to take advantage of WGT’s website, newsletter and eNews, but also social media platforms, and postcards and posters to display in shops.
Plastic bags and other single-use items are a small contribution to global environmental problems, but once our community understands the need for a plastic bag ban, there are so many other important issues that we can work on together to address global issues locally. Please stay tuned and help spread the word that banning plastic will feel fantastic for so many reasons, environmentally but economically too.