Don't love me again: I'm your plastic nightmare

A strange phenomenon has crept into our daily lives here in Connecticut - the resurgence of the plastic bag.
I understand that we are in a health crisis. I understand that there is concern about cashiers touching reusable bags. But why the rush to revert to plastic bags? What happened to paper?
Another scourge: the plastic glove. I went to People's bank here in Branford and tucked into the envelope cubby were two gloves - one blue, one yellow, wadded like chewing gum. Guess what: someone has to remove those. And then these plastic gloves end up in the same waterways as our plastic bags. Remember the campaign against plastic? Remember climate change?
Let me connect the dots. Climate change was already threatening our lives when Covid-19 hit. However, because it's a slower killer there was no 'shelter-in-place' command for climate change. If we had a president who believed in science, perhaps there would have been. Now climate change is rearing its pissed off head in the form of tornadoes pre-tornado season in the South. GUESS WHAT: if your roof gets blown off you are likely to run outside, and if you are outside, you will talk to neighbors, and those neighbors may be Covid-positive. Capiche?
One major reason to care is the sea turtle. After the BP oil spill in April 2010, thousands of these remarkable endangered creatures perished. The Kemp's ridley is nowhere near as ubiquitous as it was before the spill. Then add to that the appearance of the plastic bag, which they confuse with their favorite food source the jelly fish.
The World Wildlife Federation says on its website: "Research suggests that 52% of the world's turtles have eaten plastic waste. The reasons are simple: a floating plastic bag can look like a lot of jellyfish, algae, or other species that make up a large component of the sea turtles' diets. All sea turtle species are at risk from plastic."
So here is what I propose during the pandemic: continue to bring your own bag to the market (and please, please, cut down on shopping trips). Please pack it yourself. The clerks are understandably anxious these days - some of them are getting very sick and some are dying! - so do them a favor and show them your own bag as you approach the line. Then quickly bag it yourself. Do not accept plastic bags. They continue to be hazards to fish, turtles, the ocean and our health.
PHOTO: By Peteruetz - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,


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