Delaware May Be On Track To Ban Plastic Bags

Free plastic bags in state parks that are rarely used for actual trash.

Below is a press release from Plastic free Delaware. I could not agree more with getting rid of single use plastic shopping bags. There are much better ways and we are seeing more and more bags on the beaches and the sides of the roads. The carry in carry out bags in the parks are used mostly for collecting shells and dog poop. Another bag I would like to see banned. Reusable bags are cheap, paper bags can be made from materials besides trees and are biodegradable. Like actually biodegradable not breaking down into small molecules that are also harmful.

Governor Carney’s Support on Single-Use Plastic Legislation in the Bag

Smyrna, Del., (April 18, 2019)Governor John Carney, along with Transportation, Natural Resources and Tourism cabinet members, kicks off Earth Day celebrations with transportation and legislative announcements, including his support for a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. On Thursday morning, the Governor will be joined by members of the General Assembly, DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan, Secretary Shawn Garvin, and members of Plastic Free Delaware, among other advocacy groups, at the Smyrna Rest Area event.

cape henlpne state park fishing pier, trash in water,
Cape Henlopen state park fishing pier 2 days after it reopened

The House bill, introduced by Representative Brady, expands upon the existing at-store recycling program regarding the use of single-use plastic bags. Large retailers will be limited from providing single-use plastic bags for only specific uses thereby encouraging a shift to reusable bags. Additionally, the bill aims to clean up Delaware’s communities and watersheds, reduce storm water and trash management costs to taxpayers, and promote the health and safety of watersheds, wildlife and humans, and the ecosystem’s food chain. If passed, the law would go into effect on January 1, 2021 and restrict larger stores from providing single-use plastic bags at check-out.

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Request for Litter Clean Up Along Roadway, sussex county, trash on the road, litter,
Fields in Sussex County are full of plastic bags, these are all Dollar General bags

According to Dee Durham, co-founder and co-chair of Plastic Free Delaware, an environmental group focused on education and advocacy on issues surrounding plastic pollution in the First State, “millions of plastic bags end up as litter strewn across our communities, roadsides, parks, forests, rivers and coastlines, and clog our storm water management systems resulting in increased cleanup costs.” Additionally, Plastic Free Delaware contends that single-use plastic bags contribute a toll on human health and well-being as toxic plastic particles are now being found in the food chain.

sea gulls, trash, littering, indian river inlet, IRI
Gull tearing up a trash bag at IRI this will be all over the place in no time

The insidious development of a “disposable” culture is exemplified by the exponential growth in the use – and abuse – of single-use plastics. Our communities, roadsides and marine environments are choking in trash and plastic litter. It is estimated that the average American uses 500 plastic carryout bags annually.  Single use plastics are made from petroleum, a fossil fuel in limited supply with extensive environmental impacts in its extraction, production, and transportation.   

Along Delaware’s coastlines, despite the 2009 recycling legislation, plastic carryout bags remain one of the most prevalent and pervasive types of litter found annually during the annual Coastal Cleanup which is only three hours each September.
For more information, please contact:
Dee Durham
Co-Chair/Co-Founder
Plastic Free Delaware

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