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Morgan Dean: End the plastic bag habit for the good of your health and the environment

To the editor:

Massachusetts is a state that has deep roots in the ocean. Consider the fact that the Bay State has a $5 billion fishing industry.

Today, plastic bags pose a threat to the New England way of life. We use plastic bags for an average of 12 minutes, but they can last a millennium. Only 10 percent are recycled, and the rest end up in a landfill or as litter.

Plastic bags, sometimes called “urban tumbleweed” can end up in our waterways and oceans, polluting marine habitats. Many marine creatures eat toxic pieces of plastic bag and some die as a result. The bags can become part of the marine food chain — which includes us. By continuing the use of plastic bags, we are continuing to poison ourselves.

A ban on plastic bags is the only way to stop this infestation. Humans have the capability and responsibility to protect our environment. Our sense of convenience should not hurt other species. Using plastic bags is a habit we must break for the sake of our health and the environment.

Morgan Dean

Boston

Morgan Dean works on policy with the group Environment Massachusetts.

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