A good start, but more needs to be done

17

To the Editor:

I learned a great deal being away at college, among which is my appreciation for the respect our community has for our Island’s ecosystem. At Bennington College in Vermont, I am taking a course on plastic pollution, and have become aware of the damage that plastic pollution causes in both our environment and potentially our health.

I am aware that Martha’s Vineyard has taken action to reduce plastic pollution at a level that many communities have yet to achieve. I am so proud to be a part of a coastal community that has reduced its use of single-use plastic bags, and continues to make its transition away from plastic straws. I hope efforts to tackle this problem will continue.

Other single-use plastics are affecting our community. Plastic bottles and plastic bottle caps are in the top 10 most common litter found in the ocean. On our local Vineyard roads and beaches, I often see plastic alcohol nips. They are small pieces of plastic, never fully biodegrade, but break up into smaller and smaller pieces. They are usually deposited at the bottom of the ocean or get ingested by marine animals. Because we are surrounded by water it is also vital to reduce our use of polystyrene packaging, the lightweight quality of which allows it to float, making it easy for it to end up in the ocean and become detrimental to marine animals and the marine environment. I hope our community will continue to use plastic alternatives and be aware of the impacts of small single-use items like nip bottles and single-use creamers. I would love to see a plastic-free Island in our future.

Ruby Dix
Chilmark

17 COMMENTS

  1. Way to go, Ruby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    How about, more charging stations for electric vehicles? With affordable electric vehicles having a range of about 200 miles between charges, they are perfect for the island. If we have adequate charging stations around the island, it will encourage people to visit using their electric cars instead of gasoline powered vehicles.

    Or, How about someone making refills for the underarm deodorant sticks?

  2. Is eliminating plastic the goal or eliminating littering? Plastic that is disposed of properly on our island is either turned into electricity or put into a lined landfill essentially mummifying it. In neither case would it enter the oceans. I suppose a plastic bag or a nip bottle could find it’s way to the ocean but that’s not the main problem. Five Asian countries , most notably China, use the ocean as their dumping grounds accounting for 80% of the plastics in the ocean. Eliminating plastic straws ( does anyone older than 7 actually use them) is a feel good idea but will have no effect on ocean pollution. Rather than outlaw products that are essentially harmless to the environment in the developed world perhaps a boycott off all commercial goods from these polluting countries would be more effective.

      • Not sure you understand my premise. These polluting countries cannot exist without our trade. Put pressure on them to reduce their pollution and we all win.

        • “These polluting countries” is a such a dumb dodge.. today, the USA leads the world in consumption per capita, as well as being way out in front of the rest of the world in historic consumption. We should challenge ourselves to reduce our own behaviors, It is time to all of us to pick up the courageous american mantle of sacrifice for our future that so many of our forefathers and past generations have shouldered for our lives, and decide now, it is the time, to save the planet for our descendants. Ask yourself, what kind of ancestor do you want to be. Otherwise I would suggest getting out of the way, so serious folks, and scientists can work to right the ship before it is too late.

        • BS good luck with that from trump– Did you forget already that he pulled the U.S out of the world wide agreement about reducing pollution ?
          The republican regime has thus far made every effort to reduce regulations and allow more polluting across all categories.
          As for straws — 500 million plastic straws are used in America every day. That’s a lot of straws per day for people under 7.

  3. Climate hectoring was on the verge of being a mass movement in 2000 but then all the climate models became crazy incorrect. Al Gore told us we have ten years to save the planet back in 2006, meanwhile the elites lecture us while flying around the world attending climate conferences. How about starting by cleaning up MV first.

    • The prediction was 10 years to hold or reverse global warming to keep from going past the calculated tipping point for CO2 and warming, not some apocalyptic end of the world like movies give us.

      But the suggestion for Islanders to start by cleaning up MV is excellent.

      or Except that’s when we hit the alleged tipping point for CO2 and global warming.

  4. New Englander
    In 2006 Gore said ”unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return”. That is pretty clear to me. We cant fix it, there is no return. We are done. Seems apocalyptic to me. The elites who fly around in their Gulfstreams attending climate conferences simply want a transfer of wealth from one class to a lower class as long as they dont have to change their behavior.

    • So we’re beyond the point of no return. That makes you happy? Pleased? Wishing for another chance, perish the thought?

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