June 2023

Murray Journal - Diane Turner District #4

 As many of you know, I am very passionate about sustainability and the environment. The mountains, hillsides, and valleys in our city and state contain an abundance of trails, hikes, and leisurely walks for residents of all activity levels. In Murray City we have the Jordan River Parkway with five miles of paved trails containing recreational and educational resources as well as the Canal Trail which is two miles long stretching from Fontaine Bleu Drive to Wheeler Farm. Murray City also has several miles of bike paths that run throughout the city.

I don’t know about you, but it is very distressing for me when the beautiful environment is littered with garbage and trash, not to mention the plastic bags that are being discarded carelessly in the parks and other natural areas. They get caught in streams, fences, grass and along our trails. Plastic bags are difficult to clean up and require significant resources and manpower to do so.

Plastic bags are a significant contributor to pollution and environmental damage. They take hundreds of years to decompose, leading to the accumulation of plastic waste in landfills, water bodies, and natural habitats. This poses a severe threat to wildlife, as animals can mistake plastic bags for food or become entangled in them, causing injury or death. They obstruct recycling machinery and increase the cost of processing recyclables. They are made from non-renewable resources such as crude oil and natural gas. The extraction and production of these resources contribute to climate change and air pollution. Synthetic plastic does not biodegrade, therefore, it sits and accumulates in landfills or pollutes the environment.

Plastic pollution is a global issue that requires collective action. Many countries have already placed a ban or a fee on plastic bags, such as, a number of African and Asian nations, France, India, Australia, England, Italy, Wales, Scotland, and Germany. Areas in Mexico and some Canadian provinces have measures in place as well. Some South American countries have taken steps to reduce plastic bag use, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Colombia. In the United States, California became the first state to ban plastic bags and charge for paper bags, and other U.S. locations including Hawaii, District of Columbia, Oregon, Vermont, Seattle, Maine, New York, Rhode Island, and Puerto Rico, along with areas in Texas, Park City and Moab, Utah have followed suit.

Although Murray City does not have a ban on plastic bags, it is never too late to do what is right for our environment. Let’s take action right now! With a few simple changes, we can start this change today! Begin right now by discontinuing using single-use plastic bags and bring our own reusable bags when we go shopping. It gives you a chance to make a difference by contributing in a positive way to our environment. I would encourage you to share this message with your friends and family as well and resolve to join me in this effort! Together, we can make a positive difference for our community and our environment!