Reusable bags save wildlife

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If Councilman Paul Koretz’s proposal for Los Angeles stores to offer reusable tote bags instead of single-use paper and plastic bags passes, it will help protect the environment and save countless animals.

In Ingrid E. Newkirk’s book, “One Can Make a Difference,” Rebecca Hosking, who made the riveting documentary, “Hawaii: Message in the Waves,” explains how plastic bags often end up in our planet’s oceans, where they can remain for years, since plastics can take centuries to decompose. Floating plastic bags are deadly to fish, birds, sea turtles, dolphins, and other marine animals who come in contact with them. More than 100,000 animals die every year after they mistake plastic bags for food and eat them.

And according to the National Co-op Grocers Association, approximately 14 million trees are used annually to make paper bags for Americans. When forests-which absorb greenhouse gases-are cut down, wildlife habitats are destroyed and countless animals are displaced. Reusable tote bags are a humane and inexpensive alternative to harmful plastic and paper bags

For more information, read “One Can Make a Difference,” available at www.PETA.org.

Heather Moore, PETA Foundation