Litter in, or litter out

28 August  2011
Elsa Crumpley
In addition to all the catastrophes, natural and man-made, that threaten life on Earth, we must add the increasing danger from THE PLASTIC BAG.  Its usefulness cannot be denied.  But its threat to life becomes ever more apparent.  It is not bio-degradable; in 1000 years, it can only add to the pile of litter on Earth.  In addition, it kills marine animals and leeches toxic chemicals.  It becomes necessary to find a solution to the problem, or cease its use.
Ever since the first child died from lack of air playing with a plastic bag over its head,  we have become  aware of the danger, which cannot be dealt with merely as a warning.   Many cities have already banned the plastic bag for shopping use.  Schools were alerted to the need to adapt the curriculum to the needs.  The California Dept of Education issued a new environmental curriculum.
The new curriculum was developed with input from interested groups.  Responding to objections from the American Chemical Council to negative emphasis on the bags, the new curriculum included much positive emphasis suggested  by the Council.  Educators were outraged.  Since when does industry write our texts?
Recent years have seen occasional interference by business in school texts, and teachers and parents are outraged.  Education must remain public,in the hands of the Department of Education, in the public interest and under public control.  California Watch, a state investigative reporting team helps to keep education under public control.
With the new school year under way,   parents, retailers and schools are beginning to act by using nonplastic bags  and reuseable containers in packing lunches.  The aim is less waste, less garbage, environmental controls. And no plastic bags.

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