Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 11
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
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BYOBag Committee Welcomes Towns’ Resolution on Environmental Practices

To the Editor:

Princeton Borough Council and Princeton Township Committee have just passed a Joint Resolution recommending that all of us, as Princeton residents, use recycled cloth or canvas bags and wean ourselves from disposable plastic and paper bags. The BYOBag Committee (Bring Your Own Bag) thanks both governing bodies for this assertive move towards a Sustainable Princeton and state certification as part of Sustainable Jersey.

The Resolution “strongly recommend[s] that all citizens and residents honor the spirit and actions of Sustainable Princeton by engaging in the following environmentally best practices, in perpetuity: to re-use or purchase their own cloth bags, to use re-usable plastic bags and re-usable paper bags (instead of accepting new bags from merchants), and to urge neighbors and friends to do likewise; and Borough Council and Township Committee further recommend that all merchants distribute or sell cloth bags or recycled plastic bags or recycled paper bags and cease to offer new plastic bags.”

The international movement to reusable cloth is burgeoning, from China to Sweden, from San Francisco to Westport, Conn., which is roughly the size of Princeton. It opposes the depletion of fossil resources (plastic) and the destruction of forests (paper). The extent of environmental waste? 12 million barrels of oil per year for 100 billion-plus discarded plastic bags in the United States alone (only 1-3 percent of bags are recycled); plastic bags kill mammals, birds, and sea creatures alike, as well as polluting and clogging sewers and waterways; they take 400-plus years to degrade. Paper bags require 40 percent more energy to create and generate 80 percent more solid waste than plastic bags.

The official launch of the BYOBag Campaign is scheduled for June 9, with a 7:30 p.m. showing of the film “Bag It” at the Princeton Public Library, preceded at 6 p.m. by various environmental presentations in Hinds Plaza.

The BYOBag Committee urges everyone to participate in this drive towards sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Daniel A. Harris
Dodds Lane, For BYOBag Committee

For information on how to submit Letters to the Editor, click here.

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