Plastic needs to be regulated. In Salt Lake City, we’ve “banned” plastic straws by only allowing their use upon request, but more needs to be done. Banning plastic straws has helped, but they only account for the .025 percent of the eight million tons of plastic that flows into the ocean every year. However, close to 150 million plastic bags end up in the oceans annually. This needs to change. Plastic bags are not biodegradable and are extremely hazardous to the environment. They are a major constituent of the filth and garbage in our city and in the oceans.

Furthermore, plastic bags block drains and release toxic fumes when burned. California, Hawaii and five US territories have banned disposable bags. Why can’t we? Salt Lake needs to take the next step. Enforcing jute bags or reusable bags in every grocery store will benefit each store and our planet.

Local politicians and businesses can show an advertisement on television wherein someone is shown using a reusable bag in place of plastic. Billboards, radio ads, and any other form of advertisements can help promote this incentive. I feel that this is an extremely time sensitive issue and needs to be solved now, if we want to solve this ever-apparent climate crisis.

Scarlett Williams, Salt Lake City