Why Cuyahoga County Needs a Plastic Bag Ban

Cuyahoga County’s plastic bag ban began earlier this year, but some of our residents are already calling on communities to pull back, primarily because they object to sacrificing the convenience of bags. However, the convenience does not outweigh the harm caused by the bags.

We often lose control of plastic bags because they are light and blow away easily. They are then washed into storm drains where they can clog drains, cause flooding, and ultimately be transported to larger bodies of water, such as Lake Erie or the oceans. There they break down into small particles or microplastics that can be eaten by aquatic organisms and enter the food chain, leading to humans.

We can also consume microplastics in our drinking water. Many microplastics can release toxins which are proven endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that disrupt the action of hormones, leading to problems such as reduced male sperm production and impaired development of sex organs in fetuses. Due to the pervasive nature of plastic pollution, everything of us have been exposed to endocrine disruptors and are at risk of adverse effects.

We have alternatives to plastic bags, as Giant Eagle and other suppliers demonstrate. Support the ban. Our health depends on it.

Michel N. Melampy,

Berea

Bryce K. Locke