Frederick Friends Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, having deeply considered the harms of plastics to the earth and its inhabitants, supports Maryland’s proposal to prohibit the dispensing of single-use plastic bags at checkouts across the state. We are moved to cherish the 3arth and to care for all of those with whom we share it.
We have come to understand that, from the fracking of the earth to obtain the bags’ primary building material, natural gas, to the chemical process of forming the bags, the process is destructive. In addition to the pollution and carbon producing elements of the bags' manufacture, their disposal has become a serious global concern.
Studies have shown that 75-92 percent of major grocery chain shoppers in Maryland still use single-use plastic bags. Of those, only 5 percent are recycled. Disposal of these bags results in their amassing in landfills, blowing or floating into land and aquatic habitats, where they seriously harm and often kill vast numbers of wildlife. They eventually degrade into the ubiquitous micro-plastics that enter our homes and even our bodies. While check-out plastic bags are typically used for 12 minutes, they take upwards of 500 years to biodegrade.
We strongly encourage Maryland lawmakers to end the wasteful use of these bags by supporting and passing HB314/SB223. We thank the legislators who introduced these bills, Del. Brooke Lierman and Senator Malcolm Augustine. We thank all of you who thoughtfully serve our state.
Betsy Tobin and Kathy Funkhouser are co-clerks of Frederick Friends Meeting