Planet Princeton

Letters: Say Yes to Plastic Bag Ban in Princeton

Dear Editor:

When President Obama was asked how he felt about the recent election results, he replied, “Democracy is messy, there are times you’re disappointed,” and “It doesn’t make me mopey, it energizes me.”

Obama’s comments lifted my spirits after the messy results of the recent November 4th Mercer County Bag Referendum. Sadly, the measure did not pass county-wide.

The degradation caused to the planet and eco-system by single use plastic bags and the environmental crisis that future generations will face is at this time simply undeniable. Furthermore, single use plastic bags are banned in many places all over the world, and this July 2015 will be banned across the entire state of California. I have never been more proud to live in Princeton, New Jersey or more energized to seek change than on November 5th when I received the final results. Princeton voters passed the referendum with an overwhelming majority of 4,274 to 2,385. In fact, every district with the exception of district 3 voted YES for the referendum!

I also am proud that our town of Princeton has earned Sustainable Jersey silver certification, and I commend us citizens for understanding the true value in pursing accolades that recognize the good work being done in the municipality. However, sustainability isn’t about meeting targets, it’s about changing values.

In 2011, I contributed to a draft ordinance to reduce plastic waste by banning single use plastic bags in Princeton. Many local merchants supported the ban, but it was not introduced for fear of backlash from others. Given the overwhelming support for the referendum, it is time to take local action. I still am concerned about the backlash I may receive, but know in my heart it is the right time. It takes courage to stand up and speak out for what one believes in, and I want to acknowledge Council woman Jenny Crumiler, Mayor Lempert, Council woman Heather Howard, and the Princeton Environmental Commission for publicly supporting the November 4th Bag Referendum. Legally the town Council cannot enact a bag fee but they can enact a bag ban, and I hope they will support one.

Like President Obama, I am not mopey, I am energized because I know that if we Princetonians can change our values and follow the rationale demonstrated by much of the world, we can lead the way on reducing single use plastics in New Jersey! It takes courage to open our minds and listen to new solutions to present problems, and I have every confidence that our elected officials and the people of Princeton can SAY YES to NO PLASTIC.

Bainy Suri

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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Tue 20

West Windsor Arts Center Off the Wall Affordable Art Show

November 5 @ 10:00 am - December 21 @ 6:00 pm
Tue 20

Domestic, Houses & Landscapes. Selections from the work of Catherine Opie

November 19, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - January 11, 2019 @ 5:30 pm
Tue 20

Community: By Donation Yoga Classes

November 20 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Tue 20

How to Build and Launch Web Apps for Ages 8-14

November 20 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Tue 20

Writers’ Room

November 20 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Wed 21

Festival of Trees

November 21, 2018 @ 10:00 am - January 6, 2019 @ 4:00 pm
Wed 21

Storytime at Barnes & Noble

November 21 @ 11:00 am - 11:30 am
Thu 22

Thanksgiving Day Walk in the Mapleton Preserve

November 22 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Thu 22

Book Writing Workshop

November 22 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Fri 23

Job Seekers Group

November 23 @ 9:45 am - 10:45 am
Fri 23

Friday Storytime at Barnes & Noble

November 23 @ 11:00 am - 11:30 am

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Tue 20

West Windsor Arts Center Off the Wall Affordable Art Show

November 5 @ 10:00 am - December 21 @ 6:00 pm
Tue 20

Domestic, Houses & Landscapes. Selections from the work of Catherine Opie

November 19, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - January 11, 2019 @ 5:30 pm
Tue 20

Community: By Donation Yoga Classes

November 20 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Tue 20

How to Build and Launch Web Apps for Ages 8-14

November 20 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
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