You can use this form letter as is, or feel free to modify it to suit your needs. We have chosen to focus on the PlasTax since in our opinion it is the most sensible approach to the issue, and has proven enormously successful in Ireland- embraced by retailers, government officials and consumers alike.
Use this tool to get our politicians interested in this simple elegant solution in more areas.
Dear [Representative, mayor, alderman, etc]
As a concerned citizen and constituent of [your city or state here], I am writing to ask you to introduce legislature for a tax on disposable, single-use plastic bags. Introduced 25 years ago, these bags are now consumed at an astounding rate of approximately 500 billion per year globally, or 1 million per minute. It is estimated that 1% or 5 billion of these bags end up as wind blow litter each year. These bags that take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade, often wind up in waterways or the landscape, becoming eyesores and eventually degrading water and soil as they break down into tiny toxic bits.
Their manufacture and disposal also uses large quantities of non-renewable resources, especially petroleum, a key ingredient in plastic. Large amounts of global warming gases are released during their production, transportation, and disposal. Environmentally, disposable plastic bags are a serious problem. Hundreds of thousands of marine animals, including endangered sea turtles, die every year when they eat plastic bags mistaken for food. Paper bags are not the answer, since independent studies show they have roughly as many negative impacts as plastic ones. These problems could be avoided by advocating the use of reusable bags instead, and the consumption of fewer disposable bags.
The negative impacts of disposable bags could be reduced easily and significantly by charging for their usage at the point of purchase. In cooperation with retailers, the Irish government introduced a plastic bag tax (PlasTax) last year that has slashed consumption over 90% and raised $9.6 million for environmental and waste management projects. Another benefit is that stores save money on bag purchases and improve their public image. For example, Superquinn, one of the largest Irish grocery chains, says the number of bags it distributes for free has dropped by 97.5%.
The PlasTax is a win-win solution to the disposable bag problem. It also helps create the foundation for consumer environmental responsibility and market-based solutions to environmental problems.
Thank you for your careful thought on this matter, and I hope, your support for a PlasTax.
[your name, city, state, and zip code]