Giving out 1,000 reusable bags

To the editor:

On Saturday, May 17, members of the Saranac Lake High School Environmental Club will be stationed at a number of local businesses to distribute 1,000 reusable bags. This is a project that the Environmental Club, also known as the Green Storm, has been working on for nearly two years. The name of our campaign is “Ban the Bag.” The purpose of the reusable bags is to reduce waste made from the more commonly used thin plastic bags and can be used to carry your belongings or your groceries multiple times. Last year, the Green Storm began its efforts to “Ban the Bag” by simply encouraging stores to reduce the amount of single-use bags that they give to customers. However, this method was difficult because there was no alternative to the single-use bags. This year’s effort to “Ban the Bag” is more effective because the reusable bags that will be distributed can be used instead of the typical plastic bags.

The reusable bags that the club has purchased are made of non-woven polypropylene. This is a durable type of plastic, which also means that they are recyclable just as any other plastic when they have been worn down. Non-woven polypropylene is plastic type number 5, which is recycled by Casella Zero-Sort and a number of other waste management services. The major benefit to these reusable bags is that they can be used multiple times, thus vastly reducing the amount of bags in circulation. Also, they have a longer “life span” than normal plastic bags. Ultimately, a reusable bag is a more productive way to reduce the number of thin plastic bags used by consumers.

This movement originated in California and has spread throughout the country. For this project to be successful in our town, we have gained support from businesses and organizations who share our interests in environmentally friendly practices. Funding to purchase the reusable bags has been received from Casella, Coakley High Peaks Ace Hardware, Nori’s Village Market, NBT Bank, Fiorile Financial Advisory Group, Guide Boat Realty and Best Western, whose logos are displayed on every one of the 1,000 reusable bags. The Green Storm is also appreciative of the many community members who donated to the “Ban the Bag” campaign on the crowd funding website, Adirondack Gives. Their support is representative of their continued involvement in the well-being of our community.

Gina Fiorile

Saranac Lake