Urban Tumbleweed: It’s What’s for Dinner

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Cottonwood Creek just 100 yards from the Parks Highway. Photo: Ben Rowell

The Mat-Su has a plastic bag problem. It’s harmful to the environment, unsightly, and embarrassing.

We’ve all seen it. The urban tumbleweeds dangling from trees like ornaments along the Parks Highway or partially sunken into the mud along the banks of our waterways. Besides being an eyesore, plastic bags poise a risk to salmon returning to our local streams.

“Plankton eat it, salmon eat plankton. Salmon are also attracted to the plastic because it grows algae, so they eat it as food. So it comes back to us on our dinner plates”, Mat-Su Bag It Committee member Carol Montgomery told KTVA

Mat-Su Zero Waste Coalition’s Plastic Bag Committee launched the Mat-Su Bag It Campaign to increase awareness and education in the Mat-Su Valley to the hazards of single-use plastic bags and to encourage a reduction in their use. The coalition’s goal is to to encourage Mat-Su residents to cut down on the use of plastic bags by using reusable bags instead. Can you blame them?

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Upper reaches of Cottonwood Creek. Photo: Ben Rowell

While I applaud the coalition for creating an awareness campaign, I’m afraid that if we don’t willingly decrease our use of plastic bags, we’re likely to have a proposal to ban plastic bags all together. Do we really need more government regulations to take care of this problem? Well, the coalition is gauging public opinion.

(ICYMI: Fishing Time Increased on Wasilla Area Creeks)

“So far, 65% of those who took the survey were in favor of some sort of regulation, either a ban or a fee,” Montgomery wrote in a piece for The People’s Paper.

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Just west of the Parks Highway in Wasilla. It has looked like this for years. Photo: Ben Rowell

Do you use single use or reusable plastic bags?

Do you support or oppose a ban or fee on single use plastic bags?

Let me know in the comments section below.

 

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3 thoughts on “Urban Tumbleweed: It’s What’s for Dinner”

  1. I do use reusable bags. I don’t support a government ban. In Canada some stores have for many years imposed a small fee for bags(e.g. $.05). I have no objection to that. However the government shouldn’t be babysitters on everything. They can already ticket those who litter.

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    1. Thanks for reading, Deb. I tend to agree with you. Let the stores charge a fee but keep goverement out of it. I like that the Mat-Su Bag it Committee is trying an outreach campaign first instead of going straight to the government but it’s such a big problem that I believe government may be getting involved soon.

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  2. Unfortunately the landfill, while geologically located in an awesome spot, is subject to insanely strong winds several months of the year. Its nearly impossible to stop them from blowing out at the landfill. The only real way to stop it is to stop sending them to the landfill.

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