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Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014
Letter of the Day

The atrocities of trash

Published:

Florida’s environments reek of pollution. The state touts tourism, yet its beaches, streams and roadsides are littered with discarded containers. One sees few beer, water and pop bottles in Michigan and Hawaii. These two states have container deposit laws or bottle bills that mandate a 10-cents or 5-cents refundable deposit on most consumer beverage containers.

Why does Florida not have similar legislation? Are all Florida politicians afraid to risk the wrath of the greedy corporations that traditionally fight these laws?

Millions of marine animals, including whales, albatross and porpoise, to the smallest fish, are killed yearly by plastic pollutants that collect in our oceans. These oil-rich plastics made from near-indestructible polymer compounds will take unknown eons to degrade from our environments and landfills.

If no bottle bill, then why not mandate a ban on all plastic hands-on consumer products that can be easily replaced with biodegradable and natural materials? Cardboard and paper products made from natural renewable wood could easily be used to replace most poisonous expanded styrene (Styrofoam) items, and even help conserve our nation’s oil and gas resources.

Daily, I read of the death of Florida’s manatees and even a whale on the Gulf coast, yet we turn our backs and choose to ignore the atrocities of trash that fills landfills and flows to our oceans to become deadly toxins that may eventually reach all our dinner plates.

I once saw a pelican with a plastic bottle wrapper on its beak. Unless freed, the bird was going to die needlessly. These plastic bottle wrappers can be made from cardboard. Why do most Floridians and their representatives tolerate these preventable outrages against our planet’s wildlife?

Mandate a bottle bill and a ban on most plastics to stop these atrocities. A bottle bill is only a tax for those not willing to participate.

Stanley Cole

Palm Harbor

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