On December 12 the Ridgway Town Council passed an ordinance (pdf) banning single-use plastic bags and urging residents to curtail their use of other single-use plastics like straws, single-use food take-out containers, coffee stirrers, soda bottles, disposable water bottles, eating utensils and food packaging.
The ordinance states single-use plastics have “severe negative impacts on the environment” on both a local and global scale, that they “contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, litter, atmospheric acidification,” and cause problems with water sources and harm wildlife. Ridgway’s Town Council also passed the ordinance to help reduce the amount of waste going into the town’s landfill.
Kids did it!
Four seventh grade girls — Autumn Sagal, Indigo Krois, Elani Wallin and Maizy Gordon — undertook the effort to get the ordinance passed in 2017 after they learned about the “island” of plastic waste twice the size of Texas swirling in the Pacific Ocean, and the negative it is having ocean animals. They formed a volunteer group called “Carry On! Ridgway Reuses” to raise awareness of the environmental dangers of plastic bags and organize the effort to pass the ordinance. The girls sent letters to the editor, met with the mayor, made yarn out of plastic bags and used it to make reusable bags, set up tables to educate people about the negative environmental effects of single-use plastic bags and then they took their case directly to Council, where they got a favorable reception. Council introduced a draft ordinance in October, 2018 and passed it unanimously at the first reading. The final ordinance was formally passed on December 12 and goes into effect on March 1, 2019.
Congratulations to the town of Ridgway and their terrific kids!