LETTER: Help preserve waterways

To the Editor:

We are facing an environmental crisis, the likes of which we have never seen before. A gross excess of plastic in our environment is threatening our pristine and natural waterways both here in Minnesota and across the world in our oceans. 

We are simply not prepared for the abundance of plastic we are pumping into our oceans and our waterways every day. We throw away nearly 70 million foam cups every single day; this adds up to over 25 billion cups each year. Experts estimate that by 2050, there could be more plastic in our oceans than fish. All hope is not lost, however. Despite the staggering scale of this problem, we can make changes at the local and state level to combat the overproduction and overuse of plastic.

On an individual scale, it is as simple as asking not to be given plastic straws at restaurants, or using a reusable water bottle and avoiding single-use plastics like utensils. 

On the local and state level, we must push our legislators to support city and state-wide bans on single use plastics; we have viable, biodegradable alternatives to these plastic products available already. We must reverse the course of this plastic glut before it leaves our environment permanently tainted and our ecosystem irreparably damaged.

Travis Urness, Oakdale

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