Ban the bag

Ban the bag

A plastic shopping bag is used for minutes, but will impact the environment for a lifetime — in some cases, hundreds of lifetimes.

At least a trillion plastic bags are used worldwide, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and only a fraction of those are recycled. The rest will disintegrate over hundreds of years in landfills, or break down into smaller and smaller pieces in ecosytems around the world, releasing toxins and harming wildlife.

On Saturday, the Kenaitze Tribe’s Youth Council and suicide prevention program, Yinihugheltani, will help bring attention to the issue of plastic bag pollution by hosting a free screening of the documentary “Bag It.”

The film, which focuses on the long-term environmental costs of disposable plastic bags, is part of an effort by the youth council to educate the public about the effect plastic bags are having on the community, Audre Gifford, Yinihugheltani project coordinator, said.

One of the goals of the Yinihugheltani program is to connect youth to the larger community, and environmental issues are something they are passionate about, Gifford said.

“We want to ensure they have a place and a voice here,” she said.

When members of the council discussed what changes they wanted to see, there was unanimous agreement on a plastic bag ban.

“It was a very humbling moment,” Gifford said. “To hear them say we want you to be better, and take care of the world that you leave to us.”

The movement to ban plastic bags has been gaining steam worldwide, with dozens of U.S. cities implementing some form of a bag ban. Wasilla is the latest of several Alaska communities to ban single-use plastic bags. In recent years, Bethel, Cordova, Homer and Hooper Bay have passed ordinances banning restaurants, retail stores or groceries from distributing plastic bags.

The film screening is just one part of the youth council’s efforts to get rid of plastic bags. The group’s next step is to begin collecting signatures to show public support for a plastic bag ban and to work with city officials to take action on the issue. Gifford said the council reached out to city officials and invited them to the screening.

“We invited our community leaders to come and listen, and hopefully we will get a council member on board to propose an ordinance,” she said.

More in News

A cruise ship is docked in Seward, Alaska, on Wednesday, May 25, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Cruise passengers encouraged to test before docking in Seward

The request comes as new COVID cases are increasing in Alaska

In this July 13, 2007, photo, workers with the Pebble Mine project test drill in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, near the village of Iliamma. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing restrictions that would hinder plans for a copper and gold mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region. It is the latest in a long-running dispute over efforts by developers to advance a mine in a region known for its salmon runs. (AP Photo/Al Grillo, File)
Restrictions proposed in Pebble Mine fight

Critics of the project called the move an important step in a yearslong fight to stop the mine

Armands Veksejs, Hager Elserry, Dady Thitisakulwong, and Haewon Hong attend a farewell potluck barbecue in Nikiski on Monday, May 23, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘A life in a year’

Foreign exchange students receive send-off in Nikiski

A man fishes in the Kenai River on July 16, 2018, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/file)
Ninilchik River and Deep Creek to open sport fishing

Sport fishing will be open for three upcoming weekends

Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, stands in the Peninsula Clarion offices on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Micciche will not seek reelection

His announcement comes a week after the end of the 32nd Alaska Legislature

The Boney Courthouse in downtown Anchorage, across the street from the larger Nesbett Courthouse, holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska redistricting board picks new Senate map after Supreme Court finds a gerrymander

The board could continue work and possibly write a different map for the elections from 2024 onward

A landslide blocks Lowell Point Road in Seward, Alaska, on Sunday, May 8, 2022. (Photo courtesy City of Seward)
Lowell Point Road to reopen Friday

Intermittent blasting work will continue next week

Members of the Kenai City Council participate in a council meeting on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Boys and girls clubs land donation postponed

The issue will be back before the body on June 1

Most Read