Plastic bags defile and pollute our environment. Our state legislature has preempted the power of citizens and cities in their efforts to ban the bag. And they need to clean up the consequences of their law by witnessing first-hand the impact the bag has on our city’s landscapes, forests and ephemeral streams called “washes.”
During the monsoon season, waters rush through our city’s washes, capturing all the litter in its way, moving it downstream and eventually leaving an abundance of plastic bags clinging to tree branches and attaching to the rocks and boulders — which, in some creative way, resembles a piece of artwork. But artwork it is not.
On the city’s Make a Difference Day in October, many volunteers spent their hours in and around Switzer Wash, recovering strips and remnants of plastic bags. Many bags, buried in the dirt from previous monsoon years, were intact, but too difficult to recover without a shovel. That plastic will remain for thousands of years, to be uncovered possibly by future archeologists. A visit to the landfill will demonstrate our tax dollars at work as hired employees remove the wind-blown plastic bags from the bordering forest grounds and trees. When exposed to sun, plastic breaks down into “micro pieces” that find their way to the oceans to be ingested by animals and even into our potable water.
Join our team of litter-clean-uppers called PUTLRUS (putt ul rus) — Pick Up the Litter… Recycle Used Stuff — aptly named by a fellow steward of the land, Jack Welch. We will be in the city the morning of Jan. 1 cleaning the after-effects of the New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Check out the FB page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/putlrus/