Letter: Ban single-use plastics for our planet’s future

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Did you know MountainTrue found an average of 19 particles of microplastic per liter of water in the French Broad River, 40% of them being from candy wrappers, plastic bags and disposable bottles? Every single time MountainTrue takes a sample of our French Broad River watershed, plastic pollution is found at some degree. This is unacceptable!

As eighth grade students from Francine Delany New School for Children, we want our community to protect our health and ban single-use plastics. It’s time for us to stop putting convenience before health. Single-use plastics are damaging to our watersheds and our planet’s climate.

Because they’re made from fossil fuels, single-use plastics contribute to global warming, and when single-use plastic breaks down, it turns into microplastic particles, which travel through the water and the air.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, we ingest one credit card’s worth of plastic each week. Not to mention that chemicals in plastics, like phthalates, are linked to childhood asthma and are damaging to our reproductive and nervous systems. This is unacceptable, and it’s time for adults to do the right thing. Ban single-use plastics.

As young people, we rely on adults to make responsible choices, so Asheville, please ban single-use plastics and ensure we have a habitable planet for the future.

— Anthony “Lucas” Nesbitt and Harvey Welch
Francine Delany New School for Children


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One thought on “Letter: Ban single-use plastics for our planet’s future

  1. Cecil Bothwell

    I am solidly behind ban of single-use plastics, but a little skeptical about how that could happen at a local level. In August the City will ban plastic trash bags for garden waste. Good. Then, presumably, the City will ban plastic garbage bags … but what is the replacement? (I grew up with paper grocery bags as “garbage” bags and the times the bottom fell out on my way to the can are beyond counting.) Next, is a produce bag (say packaged carrots or onions or apples) a single use? What about dog-poop bags? (I use corn-starch compostable bags when I walk my friend’s dog.) Then food trays. Like when you buy meat or fish at the grocery store—what’s the alternative base? Okay, let’s go ovo-lacto … now we have plastic wrap on the cheese and plastic nests for the eggs. But, okay, vegan. Now the plastic bag for the veggies (thanks to French Broad Co-op for the compostable bags!). I’m not disagreeing with the intent of the Francine students, but it is really, really complicated.

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