To the Editor:
I'm blown away by the Town Council's inability to come to grips with the fact that plastic bags are bad for the environment, particularly on islands — no matter the size — and need to be regulated. After all these months, they want to dither over small details, like how do you enforce the new law.
Why are single use plastic bags bad? Because they very often blow away and get into the waterways and eventually into the ocean where they remain forever and endanger aquatic life. Paper, on the other hand dissolves when confronted with water, and can be safely eaten by fish.
This is why islands as small as Nantucket and as large as Australia, including Ireland, have adopted legislation to ban or regulate the use of single-use plastic bags. Nantucket has banned them for 24 years and just last year extended the ban to include Styrofoam and all forms of plastic packaging.
Ireland chose to regulate by taxation. You can get a plastic bag in any establishment there (that has them) but it will cost you 15 euro (20 cents) resulting in a 95 percent drop in the use since its enactment several years ago.
Yes, reusable bags cost a bit more and occupy more space. Many establishments sell reusable bags with handles to offset the cost. It is a price we pay to clean up the environment. I remember 35 years ago this island banned detergents with phosphates in them because of environmental concerns. We were the first no discharge harbor on the east coast — that cost money. Why did we do it? To clean up the environment. Why were islanders in favor of wind power for our electricity? Because it shut down the diesel generators that sent fumes into the air over the island.
I would suggest that someone from here (Town Manager?) get on the phone to Nantucket's Town Manager and find out how they have resolved these problems, and then pass a law that will withstand the test of time.
Best of luck
To the Editor:
Thanks to everyone who supported me and voted for me in the recent election for the Block Island Utility Board of Commissioners. Though I didn’t win, I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve the community.
Thank you also to Jeff Wright, the current Board, the clerks at Town Hall, and the volunteers who worked so hard to make the process fair. Finally, thanks to all the members of the community who asked questions and voted. It was a great turn out.
I wish the new Board of Commissioners the best of luck.
Next Blood Drive
To the Editor:
The last blood drive of the year will be held on Thursday, Nov. 2 at Harbor Church from 1 to 5 p.m. Please make every effort to donate. In the September drive we received 40 units, largely because of recent hurricanes. That was the largest donation all year. Puerto Rico is still in need of blood. For those of you who have not given, donating is pain-free — a simple pinch is all you feel. And you’ll feel so good having donated.
Here are some things to remember:
- Age 16 may give with parent's permission slip
- Age 17 and above can donate. There is no upper age cutoff
- Bring your driver's license
- If you have questions regarding eligibility call 453-8307
- No appointment is needed. Simply walk in. If you want an appointment visit www.ribc.org
Most of us know someone with cancer. Those receiving cancer treatment need blood. One donation can save three lives. Those who have had Lyme disease may be able to give again. Please plan to be there.
Peter Greenman, Coordinator
Rhode Island Blood Center