Letter: Plastic is a problem



While living in beautiful Santa Fe, N.M., I discovered in the most painful way the devastating effect of plastic. I left my house for 20 minutes, and upon returning, discovered my Chihuahua “Angel” lying by the couch with an empty shredded cheese plastic bag on her head – suffocated to death. My resuscitation efforts failed. Apparently, my larger dog had pulled the bag out of the trash.

This horrific event brought to my attention the crisis this planet is in: Plastic is killing our planet, wildlife, marine life and pets. When you think about it, it boils down to habits. I, myself, have agreed with the checkout person at the grocery store when asked “is plastic OK?” in a robotic fashion, I nod my head “yes,” as if there is no other choice. There is a choice. Small changes can make a difference.

If you’ve read the book “Atomic Habits” you will be inspired to realize that small changes in the way you do things, developing new habits, can drastically change the quality and trajectory of your life. The small habit of using reusable grocery bags instead of robotically agreeing to the plastic can slowly decrease the effect of plastic in our world. Send an email to the grocery store you use the most and implore them to no longer offer plastic bags. In Santa Fe, one grocery store offered used boxes that people could use for their groceries if they hadn’t brought their own bags. They had no bags in the store. It worked. It can work here, too.

Emily Peak, Westfield