Apr 04 2019

Letter To The Editor: Modern Day Tumbleweed

Do you remember watching old western movies? There is always a scene when the guys have a showdown. The streets clear and the two gunslingers pace off. In that moment before they draw, a tumbleweed or two blows through the streets.

Sadly, one or both of these gunslingers is about to meet their fate. What’s not sad is those tumbleweeds are just made of plant material and will go back to the earth.

Flash forward to modern times any town in South Carolina. While we aren’t fighting gun duels in the street we do see those tumbleweeds. Except instead of being weeds, they are actually plastic bags. Doesn’t matter if they were the bag you used to put your items from Walgreens in, the Doritos chip bag or the wrapper to your Snickers candy bar. Where does it all go?

Yes, maybe someone will come and pick it up but that’s not always the case. I live on Folly Beach. If a plastic bag blows down the street there is a good chance it’s gonna end up in the marsh or worse, the ocean.

Quick question: Do you know what is a sea turtles favorite food? Jelly Fish. Do you know what a plastic bag in the water looks like?

That’s right.

Hundreds of thousands of marine animals; birds, fish, dolphins and sea turtles have a steady diet of plastic in there diet. Those gunslingers that I mentioned before, they knew the risk they were taking when they strapped on their guns. These animals, they are just the innocent bystanders.

 I understand that this ban on bans is an issue. I understand that people fear change. I also understand that big plastic is behind this movement, lobbying to make sure they don’t lose market share.

Oh no! How will you be able to carry your groceries from the Harris Teeter? What about when I shop at Walmart? The horror.

Guess what, we adapt. The Harris Teeter near Folly Beach: No plastic bags. Have they gone out of business? Nope. In Hawaii, a forward thinking state, surrounded by water: No plastic bags. Did Walmart go out of business? Nope. They adapted, as have their citizens. Mahalo!

 South Carolina is always near the bottom in most categories.

Education, roads, etc… However, we are near the top when it comes to protecting our marine wildlife. Removing this ban on plastics would be taking a huge step backwards or in better terms it would be like showing up to a gunfight with a spork. Only big plastic wins. Sorry sea turtle.

Let’s get this one right.

Richard Brendel

 Folly Beach

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