The overwhelming deluge of plastic bag pollution in the world’s oceans is causing real harm to ocean wildlife, including Maine’s local whale, bird, seal and turtle populations. Plastic bags also litter our beautiful forests, beaches and waterways. Unless action is taken now, plastic bag pollution will continue to negatively impact regional wildlife and the environment, as well as Maine’s tourism, recreation and agricultural industries.

Fortunately, there is a clear bipartisan solution in Maine to help the state do its part toward alleviating the crisis. Bill LD 1532, sponsored by Rep. Holly Stover of Boothbay, restricts the distribution of single-use plastic bags in retail establishments in Maine. The bill also requires a minimum five-cent fee for alternative paper bags, except for small businesses.

I congratulate the Legislature in Augusta for its bi-partisan passing of LD 1532. I also thank my local senator, Russell Black, who has taken a stand to protect Maine’s economy and ecology by voting to support that bill. I thank him for his dedication to protecting the well-being of his constituents in District 17 and for voting his conscience rather than along partisan lines.

Todd “Will” Jones, Farmington