Dear Members of the Baltimore City Council,
We are writing to urge you to vote in favor insert legislation, sponsored by Councilman Bill Henry. This legislation will ban plastic bags which are a huge blight on our community.
Plastic bags are ubiquitous, insidious pollution. We see them along our highways, blown by the wind, and hanging from trees. They enter creeks and streams where the current carries them to rivers and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay into the ocean. They clog storm drains, and once in our waterways, are mistaken for food by wildlife. Plastic bags cannot be recycled curbside, but are often placed in bins - either contaminating the haul and increasing costs, or contaminating our communities when they blow out of a bin and become litter.
Reducing litter leads to healthier communities. People living near vacant land that had been cleared of trash and restored reported increased feelings of safety, decreased perception of violence, and more opportunities to socialize with their neighbors, according to research by the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. The same research team found that reducing blight lowers depression.
The fee that the City collects could raise significant funding to clean up trash throughout the City, increasing our shared capacity to clean up Baltimore's neighborhoods, and move us closer toward the clean city Baltimore deserves to be.
We call on you to vote in favor of this legislation. Support the Baltimore Bag Bill to reduce pollution and improve the health of neighborhoods across the city.