Ann Gallelli: Reducing Waste With Reusable Bags

To the editor,ann2016

Recently I attended a meeting about re-useable bags, along with fellow trustee Sherry Horowitz, at which 14 municipalities were represented. The meeting was organized by Chris Burdick, Supervisor of the Town of Bedford. The purpose of the meeting was to provide an opportunity for many municipalities to hear how others are moving on various initiatives regarding single-use plastic bags.

The basic premise of discussion, upon which there was no disagreement, was that these bags are bad for our environment on multiple levels from their manufacture, recyclability, and negative environmental effects when disposed. The discussion centered around the best method for eliminating their use.

There was also agreement that, regardless of the approach chosen by each municipality, it is important not to wait for the County or State to act, but rather, to move ahead sooner than later. This creates impetus for action on a higher level. Also, the more such regulations affect contiguous areas, the better it is for merchants as it creates a level playing field for them.

Although single-use plastic bags do not represent the universe of plastic products that are difficult or impossible to safely recycle, it is the starting point for many Westchester and Long Island municipalities. I am appreciative of the efforts of our local activists, like the Croton Climate Initiative, to educate us all and for beginning the conversation on how best to address this issue.

Ann Gallelli

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