Support bill to repeal plastic bans prohibition

In 2016, state Rep. Jim Stamas created a ban to withhold taxations on plastic containers. The law discourages Michigan communities from adopting effective waste-reducing policies. Enstating this ban on single-use plastic bans, which has been proven proficient in states like California, prevents us from protecting our Great Lakes from plastic debris.

Research from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Response and Restoration and the University of Rochester Institute of Technology suggests that the amount of plastics found in the Great Lakes alone has almost doubled in two years’ time, from 10,000 tons to 16,000. Not only is this plastic pollution detrimental to animals, like seagulls, but it also infiltrates the Alpena drinking water system. The Alpena water treatment plant does not currently have adequate infrastructure to filter microplastics from our water system. Not only that, but, according to United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, the toxins that latch onto microplastics, discovered in fish and then eaten by us, have been found to penetrate through cells in tissue and organs.

Every week a group called the Alpena 4-H Tech Changemakers meets up at Cabin Creek Coffee and uses only reusable containers provided by the coffee shop. Cabin Creek provides coffee mugs if you ask them for one; they use reusable plates and forks every day for deserts. How much money could small businesses save on packaging by using more reusable dishes?

There is a new bill in the works, proposed by Oakland County state Rep. Robert Wittenberg, House Bill 4500. This bill that would repeal the law that makes taxation of single-use plastics illegal. To correct this, I ask you to call your local representatives and ask them to vote in favor of House Bill 4500.

CONNIE FLUHARTY,

Alpena