Why I like the plastic bag ban in Seattle

Last week, the City of Seattle banned plastic bags for distribution from grocery stores to department stores.  I applaud this effort because, among other things, it is a positive move to help animals, as is so well described in this news article. But here is one more reason why…

A few years ago, I was cleaning out rabbit cages at the Richmond Animal Shelter in BC. The shelter was closed; it was a holiday.  It was quiet, and the seagulls that usually avoid the barking dogs of the shelter flew low that morning.  I saw that one of them had a plastic bag caught on his knee and entangled in his foot.  The bag was trailing, inflated behind the flying bird as he struggled through the air.

This sight really gnawed at me.  What a useless infringement on his right to be a seagull and to fly through the air, as humans claimed it was their right to use plastic bags.

So I applaud Seattle and all the other cities in the US and Canada that have made this choice.  Because the only thing more convenient than a plastic bag is not having to deal with them later.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Jen Procter said,

    Here in Portland we have the ban, but I do a lot of running in a nearby town called Milwaukie, which does not have the ban. They do have a nice tiny little wetland area though, and I routinely pause my run to disentangle bags from trees and pick them out of the gutters neighboring the wetlands. It’s a small little patch of trees and water really, but home to toads, (Huge ones!) Geese, Woodpeckers and Mallards at least. Hopefully I’ve helped some of these guys not have to eat our plastic.

    • 2

      christielagally said,

      This is awesome. It really calms me to know people are picking out the plastic to prevent it from getting deeper into the ecosystem. So thank you so much!


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