Earth Day comes around once a year. We plant trees, clean up the streets and talk about how we can be more green. But the reality is, there’s something we can do that will make a big difference – we can ban the plastic bag.
More than one hundred billion plastic bags are used in the U.S. alone every year. 12 million barrels of oil are used to make them. Typically, they’re only used once. We see them all around our neighborhood right here in Hoboken, stuck in the tree branches and trapped in the storm drains. These bags, even when they make it to the landfill, can take over 1,000 years to decompose, all the while releasing toxins into our soil and water. Animals and marine life are often harmed by the plastic fragments they ingest.
Governor Cuomo just introduced a bill that would ban plastic bags in New York state, which Mayor de Blasio supports. Mayor Fulop announced he will introduce an ordinance to ban plastic bags in Jersey City. There are already several towns in New Jersey that have instituted fees or outright banned plastic bags: Teaneck, Longport and Long Beach. Now it’s time to add Hoboken to that list.