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What are the health risks of reusable bags and paper straws?

I read with interest the article regarding "Single-use plastics under review". I hope a study done for council takes into account several questions.
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I read with interest the article regarding "Single-use plastics under review". I hope a study done for council takes into account several questions.

I have read the articles on the much-touted use of paper straws, because they "only include paper and glue." Production of paper involves uses of many chemicals to break down the fiber chains, and the glue includes many chemicals, in some cases vinyl. Are these released as the straw breaks down while in a soft drink? Is my granddaughter ingesting these chemicals when I treat her to a drink?

Have there been studies on the use of "reusable shopping bags" that include swab tests of the conveyor at the grocery store? Seeing these bags being thrown on the conveyor by "environmentalists" while they are covered in dog hair, soil from the garage floor where they were set before taking into the house, and stains from who knows what, and then me being expected to put my groceries on the conveyor without waiting for the staff to wipe it down so the line can keep moving, I see as a grave health risk.

I encourage people to ask cashiers what they have encountered in and on those bags. It will surprise them.

What is being done with the five cents a bag I am paying for the plastic bags? What is the responsibility of the business to handle recycling their products?

Perhaps look at banning the sale of trash bin liners. I am constantly amazed at the people who use a "reusable" shopping bag, only to load in a box of plastic bin liners for home, and then make comments to me about my disregard for the environment because I take the plastic bags (which I line my bins with at home, or use to take my lunch to work).

I know the "it will never break down" aspect strikes fear into the hearts of many. But, if plastic fills our landfills, the chemicals they are made from will be right where we can find them at a time in the future when we will be able to reclaim and reuse, with no cost for exploration.

I know plastic (and for that matter, sewage, gypsum, glass, brick, paint, etc.,) in the ocean is an extremely important concern. This is litter, and should be treated equally and diligently.

First, look to the marinas to change this in our country, and to the international waste management practices first. (It was only during the last half-century that large cities in North America stopped their "garbage islands" in the ocean for waste management.

I hope whatever form the study council chooses, it will have opportunity for involvement by citizens, and those who shop in St. Albert.

Alan Otway, Morinville




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