The Charlestown Citizens Alliance approach to environmental reform is persuasion through education. When people are informed that the accumulation of plastic waste in the world’s oceans will soon equal the biomass of fish, they are jolted toward corrective action. In that informed climate, single-use plastic bags have been banned in many coastal communities, and they have been banned on all municipal properties in Charlestown.
As a substitute, the alliance suggested and the town authorized expenditure of $10,000 toward promotion of reusable tote bags. These are signature bags, made of a natural plant fiber (jute), and imprinted with copyrighted logo showing the town name, its environmental initiative, and a sailboat on Ninigret Pond. They are available in three forms: tote, beach, and insulated, and sold at retail establishments and the Town Hall. The bags are popular among tourists as souvenirs, they benefit the environment, and they promote our tourist economy.
For more information about the bags, visit charlestowncitizens.org.
The writer is a member of the Charlestown Town Council.