Millions of tons of plastic enter our oceans every year, much of it wasteful single-use. It can cause harm to marine life- we’ve all heard the story of the unfortunate sea turtle swallowing a grocery bag as its final meal- but it is beginning to cause harm to humans as well. Microplastics, which often carry harmful carcinogens, are being found in the foods we eat and the water we drink.
At Nantucket’s Special Town Meeting in 2018, voters passed a bylaw to ban certain single-use plastics from commercial sale and distribution. The NLC supports the Town’s 2020 Plastics Ban and is a part of the Plastics Ban workgroup that works with stakeholders across Nantucket to ensure effective implementation of the upcoming bylaw. This critical advocacy work helps businesses and individuals understand what the bylaw is for and why it will benefit Nantucket.
The plastics ban specifically prohibits the commercial sale and distribution of certain single-use plastics including plain water bottles less than 1 liter, straws and drink stirrers, six pack yokes, drinking cups and lids, non-compostable plates and eating utensils, and non-recyclable coffee pods. The ban is set to go into effect on June 1, 2020.
You can make a difference by replacing your single-use plastic water bottles with refillable steel or glass bottles, using reusable coffee pods, stainless steel straws, compostable plates and utensils (or better yet, bring utensils from home). The purpose of this ban is to protect Nantucket’s single source aquifer, marine life, reduce litter and protect the health and safety of present and future generations. The NLC will be sharing options for easy reusable replacements for common items rather than disposable plastics on our social media so follow @nantucketlandcouncil on instagram and Facebook for ideas on how to make the Plastics Ban an easy and earth-friendly transition.