Where do you think you’ll be in five years? How about 10 years? Twenty? 100? We all know in 100 years we’ll be decomposing somewhere in the earth — but the same can’t be said for plastic. It can take anywhere from 20 years to 1,000 years for plastic to decompose. Every year, 1 trillion plastic bags wreak havoc on the environment. In Waterville alone, we use 4.8 million plastic bags per year, the majority of which will find their way to a landfill and never leave. To stop this, we should enact a ban on plastic bags in big-box stores.The ban will only affect 20 to 30 of the biggest stores in town.

For me, a high school sophomore at Waterville High School, keeping the planet clean and reducing my carbon footprint is essential for all people and wildlife. Contrary to popular belief, plastic does indeed affect human health. Some toxins in plastic are directly linked to cancers and immune system problems. Wildlife is also severely affected by plastic, whether it be by ingesting it or if they get caught in it. If a person were to consume a fish that digested plastic, that person would have vicariously consumed plastic, exposing them to plastic toxins. Not to mention that plastic also litters the beautiful Maine scenery.

So please, this November do something I cannot legally do, and vote yes on Waterville municipal Question 1 for the ban on plastic bags.

Sarah McNeil


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