Opinion: Stop using single-use plastics in Alaska

It’s harmful to people and the environment.

I’m ready to see Alaska do away with single-use plastics. Every waterway is precious for our fragile ecosystem. Healthy water promotes healthy salmon runs, healthy spawns, healthy food and healthy subsistence lifestyles.

It’s time for us all to do our part in saving our fisheries for future generations by reducing or eliminating our use of disposable plastics such as sandwich bags, straws, cling wrap and grocery bags.

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There is too much supporting evidence that plastics leech toxins, such as bisphenonl A (BPA), into nearby bodies of water. These toxins reduce growth with endocrine disrupters and poison animals. As plastics break down, marine animals mistake it for food. Soon, they starve with full bellies.

If our marine animals cannot reach maturity, we will continue to see a decline in salmon, whales, sea lions, etc. This decline will reduce food security along the Alaska coast. Additionally, through biomagnification, these toxins and bits of plastic become part of our dinner. This results in additional harm to our family and our neighbors.

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As a nation, we are using plastic faster than we can recycle it, resulting in plastic exports. Act today if you are ready to protect your Alaska way of life by reducing toxic plastics in your local waterways. Stop using single-use plastic. There are many safer alternatives.

Join Alaska’s Last Plastic Straw challenge. Encourage your politicians to ban disposable plastic bags.

Traci Taylor,


• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.