Scourge on our shores


To the Editor:

My family and I have been coming to Martha’s Vineyard for decades. My sister and brother-in-law live here. This is the first year I have seen so much plastic litter on the beach. I find it incredibly sad. Somehow, I naively hoped that Martha’s Vineyard could be exempt from the global plastic pollution problem.

My hope, in writing this letter, is to remind all Islanders and visitors that this scourge is on our shores.

Here are some things we can all do to curb plastic and packaging pollution: reduce (or stop) purchasing single-use items and single-use packaged products ( i.e., snack items); reuse all containers as many times as possible; choose to use reusable drink bottles and bags; Recycle everything you can; and bring a bag or container to the beach and pick up plastic garbage when you see it.

Here is a list of things my husband and I collected in less than 10 minutes walking south of Aquinnah, at the tide line July 11, 2014: 10 plastic water bottles (two still full of water), 2 Mylar balloons, 1 plastic floss pick, 2 plastic straws, 1 plastic coffee k-cup, 2 plastic cups, 1 Lays potato chip bag, a clump of marine rope, large plastic container top, various small plastic bits and pieces, various pieces of styrofoam in many shapes.

How much is convenience really worth? Our single-use and toss culture is having a negative effect on Martha’s Vineyard. With more awareness and actions we can turn this tide.

Sharon Rowe

Ossining, N.Y.