Baltimore trash: Plastic bags aren't the problem

It's the people not the bags that are responsible for Baltimore's trash problem.

For 34 years, I have been a resident of Baltimore City. I am a homeowner also, and love this city, but find it very difficult to swallow what our City Council hands out from time to time ("Baltimore City Council moves to ban plastic bags," Nov. 11).

I can go out each morning and collect a large bag of trash from the street in front of my house. This trash is tossed from cars and dropped by passers-by just about every day, and it is disheartening. Plastic and paper bags are not the culprit here. If we choose to focus on those items, removing them from our lives, then we should also be focusing on plastic bottles and fast food containers, too. These, along with beer cans and broken glass from liquor bottles, represent the majority of what I pick up along our front street in North Baltimore. Not plastic bags.

It saddens me to think that people have not been taught social skills and manners, have no regard for their environment, and do not seem to care. There is an apathy that seems to abound here in this city. Just look at voter turnout. There is an attitude that there must be city workers paid to clean up after us, so toss the trash out! Somebody else will clean it up! We also have seen people pull up to the curb and clean out their vehicles, depositing everything in the gutter or storm drain area. This is what needs to stop.

Maybe we should have people bring their own food and drink containers when purchasing fast foods and beverages so those containers do not eventually come before the City Council, awaiting the same fate as the plastic bag — eradication or taxation. We cannot legislate everything. However, as parents and adults, we should be teaching our children the social skills and basic manners needed to exist and to thrive in this world. Children learn from us. What have we been teaching them? Plastic bags are not at fault.

Margaret C. Harris, Baltimore

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