I live in Tillamook County and am proud that several City Councils (Manzanita, Wheeler and Bay City) have voted to ban plastic carryout bags. I’m optimistic that Garibaldi and Rockaway will soon pass the same ordinance. I am very concerned about plastic pollution in our waterways and our land. One of the biggest problems with plastic is that it doesn’t go away. Scientists are finding plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller fragments that carry chemical toxins. These particles are eaten by fish and other marine life that are in turn eaten by larger animals so the particles eventually find their way into our food sources. And of course we are all saddened when we see pictures of sea turtles strangled by plastics or hear of a whale with a belly filled with plastics.
Because of my concern for the impact of plastics, I support banning plastic carryout bags (produce bags and other bags needed for health or safety would be exempt from the ban). It seems like a very small action to take in view of the impacts of plastics on our health, environment and economy.
Yes, there may be some inconvenience at first as we learn new habits like remembering to bring our reusable bags to the store and making sure to keep them clean. Many people who have lived in or visit the many cities in Oregon that have already banned these bags say, “you get used to it”. We can get used to it too. For those that sometimes forget their reusable bags, remember you can ask the cashier to use paper bags rather than plastic.
I urge all residents of Tillamook County to develop the habit of taking their own reusable bags when shopping. And, I urge all the cities in Tillamook County to approve this very small step to address a very large problem.
Kathie Lou Reames
Tillamook County Resident