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The Waterman’s Corner: Thoughts of watermen

By Staff | Apr 5, 2017

A new column by Solutions To Avoid Red Tide (START) is making its debut today, which you will continue to see in future issues. A corner where the love of the sea will be shared. Where adventures out on the water will be told. Thoughts of watermen will be revealed. Tips and tricks to keep our waters clean and healthy will be given. Current marine conservation research will be communicated. Ways to continue to conserve our beautiful islands will be found here. Events will be posted where you can get involved in your community, support local organizations and learn about the environment we live in and use.

The goal is to harness the natural allure and old Florida feel of the islands we live and work on everyday. To keep this feeling stirring inside us that keeps us here and to continue to enjoy it by increasing public awareness about the importance of preserving our marine environment.

Lately, single-use plastic bags have been in the news. The possibility of a plastic bag ban in Sarasota and Coral Gables, and a recent whale beaching in Norway where scientists found a rare goose-beaked whale’s stomach completely filled with plastic bags. These are just a few current events of many dealing with plastic bag issues. It’s becoming more apparent every day that single-use plastic bags need to be taken seriously.

Let’s face it, plastic bags are easy to use and they are so readily available to us. They are found at almost every shop, store and restaurant that you enter.

Did you know that consumers like us recycle only about 2 percent of those plastic bags? Even when they are “recycled,” more energy is needed to do so and the bag quality is poor. This is because plastic is not truly recycled, it is downcycled to create different forms of plastic. Most plastics end up in landfills, waterways and oceans leeching their toxic chemicals and never fully breaking down.

Compared to canvas bags, plastic bags use more material in production, emit more greenhouse gasses during production, use more energy to be produced, and create more waste.

So lets choose reusable bags and Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB).

Here are five great reasons and ways to use reusable bags:

Save money. Many grocery stores take money off your bill if you BYOB.

Feel good helping the planet. Keep plastic out of the environment and away from wildlife. It’s a simple way for you to feel better about your role as a citizen.

Shopping and restaurants. Do you like to shop or order food to go? Bring your bag with you to hold your items. Many retail bags are not only made from plastic, but also contain harmful dyes.

Storage and organizing. Organize your trunk by putting the jumper cables, oil and tools all in one place. Or use them to store and organize household goods. As you’re getting ready for a beach day it can be your new beach bag.

Use it as a gift bag. Instead of buying a paper gift bag use a reusable bag. Save on waste and encourage others to BYOB.

Everything you do in your day-to-day life can have greater consequences than you think. Stop and think about this when you use plastic. Ask yourself if you need to use it and try to think of ways you could use less. Remember to keep a reusable bag in your car for those last minute, unplanned trips to stores.

START would also like to welcome and announce its three new board members Kim Taverna, Breianna Coffman and Bob Brooks.