Bag ban a painless way to make a difference

As a part-time visitor during the last 25 years or so, I have read with interest the discussion about the suggested plastic bag ban in Durango and was surprised that the town hadnít already moved forward with the alternative.

I have always thought of Durango as a progressive, outdoorsy, health-conscious town.

Iím sorry to admit that we have a problem with trash on Kauai. Weíve even been given the nickname ďgarbage islandĒ at certain times. Well, you can imagine this is not something any destination that derives its main income from tourism wants to be known for.

Itís been a long road, but thanks to the foresight of our mayor and council, we slowly have been cleaning up the island. Itís been more than a year now that weíve had a ban on plastic bags, and I can tell you firsthand that the 100,000 people on the island have adjusted just fine. There is no cost for paper bags, and the markets give a credit of 10 cents per reusable bag.

Unfortunately, the one plastic bag we still see regularly on our roadsides is the one for ice, which the fishermen and beach-goers use. I donít think anyone, even in Durango, hasnít heard of the Pacific garbage patch, not to mention all the seabirds that feed their young plastic that they canít digest, and the turtles that get their heads stuck in plastic bags and rings.

There are numerous other examples, but the point Iím trying to make is that, as human beings, we are given the responsibility to care for this planet that we live on. Sometimes, we have to put aside our own personal convenience for the greater good.

After all, itís the right thing to do. And Iím willing to bet if Durango moves in that direction, you will see how simple and painless it really is and wonder why you resisted it in the first place. Itís the little things that can make a big difference.

Delpha Menor

Kauai, Hawaii

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