On the Cusp of Earth Day, let’s talk about Plastic Pollution

Dear Editor:

I’m studying Environmental Studies at HCCC. This letter is to focus your attention on the issue of plastic straws affecting our Hudson County neighborhoods. Several Hudson County towns take pride in resolving their plastic pollution. For instance, Hoboken and Jersey City have implemented some sort of plastic bag ban or charge. Some other cities in Hudson County are considering the same, but have no initiative to do so.

The news outlets have mentioned the effects of plastic pollution and issues NJ is facing. However, these articles are outdated and the subject was left to be forgotten. The most recent article, that I could find that discusses the hazards of plastic straws, was dated back to May 2018. I feel we need to target plastic straw pollution and its culprits; the public, the restaurant industry, and any other establishment that uses plastic straws.

The people of Hudson County, at large, need to recognize their actions and be informed on the consequences of plastic pollution, in this instance plastic straws. One-time use plastic straws are plaguing our streets and are ending up in our neighboring rivers and waterways. One time use plastic straws are also hurting the marine environment. Whether is a fish, a turtle, a coral or a bird, the environment is hurting from these plastic straws.

People need to take action! People must/need to relate to these effects on a local, personal level for any change to occur. People can start by simply refusing a straw at their local restaurant/deli, as well as restaurants and other providers can take the initiative to ban or limit plastic straws. Steps like these, although small, can make a difference and change the mentality of the public. Claiming ignorance achieves nothing, but an informed audience can bring forth a movement where changes are possible!

Anthony Ruiz