Plastic Bags Cause Problems for Local Creeks and Streams

2 years 10 months 1 week ago April 11, 2014 Apr 11, 2014 Friday, April 11 2014 Friday, April 11, 2014 3:11:00 PM CDT in News
By: Alexandra Pierce, KOMU 8 Reporter
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA - They are easy to spot along the banks and submerged in local streams, plastic shopping bags carelessly discarded.

Plastic bags and bottles make up 90 percent of the waste found during the city's creek and stream clean ups.

Sammy Se is a senior at Rock Bridge High School and spends her Saturday mornings cleaning up Columbia's waterways.

She said she sees plastic bags just about everywhere.

"I think a lot of people just think, 'Oh they're plastic bags, I'll just throw them away at home,' but a lot of times, their bags rip and they end up in streams here," Se said.

It takes one plastic bag 1,000 years to degrade.

Many cities like San Francisco, New York and Dallas have enacted plastic bag laws in an effort to help the environment.  But as for Columbia joining that list, it might be a while.

"I don't see a ban on plastic bags at this point," Sixth Ward Council Member Barbara Hoppe said.

But for now the city says it will look into other ways to help reduce the amount of plastic bag waste.

"Maybe the city can do something in terms of promoting those stores or publicize and thank those stores that are good community citizens and are reducing the bag litter in Columbia," Hoppe said. Hoppe was referring to local retailers like "Lucky's Market that offer incentives for customers to bring their own reusable bags and pass on the plastic. Lucky's rewards shoppers who bring in reusable bags with ten cents off their purchase. Shoppers also have the option of donating that ten cents to local charities.

And a few stores in Columbia have made the switch to paper bags instead of plastic. But storm water educator Mike Heimos says reusable bags are the best option.

"It's good to think of your effect on the environment and how much you're consuming. And it is easier and convenient to use (a plastic bag). But it is a lot easier to think about your impact and try and use a reusable bag," Heimos said.

The city also holds annual trash clean ups as one way to combat the problem, but Hoppe said the city hopes to become more proactive rather than reactive.

"It's better always to be proactive on the front end than trying to do it on the back end. We can't clean up everything," Hoppe said.

Se said that the first step in fixing the problem is to raise awareness.

"More people should know about it and know the effects and where it goes and I don't think a lot of people realize that we're spending our Saturday mornings picking up their trash that they were too lazy to throw away

Until a change is made, Se says she will continue to help clean up Columbia.

Columbia's annual city-wide trash pick up event, Cleanup Columbia will be held on April 12th.

 

More News

Grid
List
HENNEPIN COUNTY, Minnesota - A Missouri construction worker, David Earl Hyde, 38, of Fulton died while on the job in... More >>
1 hour ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 9:54:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Regional Airport is about to get the renovation its been hoping for. The small airport currently flies... More >>
3 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 7:37:00 PM CST in News
ST. CHARLES (AP) — Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are joining the investigation into... More >>
4 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 7:06:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City City Council will vote Monday evening on the Truman Hotel Urban Renewal Plan. ... More >>
4 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 6:42:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri's new first lady, Dr. Sheena Chestnut Greitens, said she is committed to keeping politics separate from her... More >>
4 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 6:30:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - In the past two decades, the number of fatal opioid overdoses has skyrocketed, and the medical community has... More >>
7 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 3:42:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – As unusually warm weather brings a feeling of early spring across Missouri, it also speeds up the lawn... More >>
7 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 3:27:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The mayor's medical tourism task force has finalized its recommendations on how to make Columbia a medical hub... More >>
8 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 2:35:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Stress may seem like one of those things that we all talk about being under from time to... More >>
9 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 1:47:00 PM CST in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — Th e Missouri S tate Highway Patrol says a 27-year-old man was died after a police... More >>
9 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 1:13:43 PM CST in News
PLATTE CITY (AP) — A truck driver from Springfield was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty in... More >>
10 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 12:48:59 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - MU Police identified a man suspected of kissing one unwilling female and trying to hug several others. There... More >>
11 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 11:08:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council will discuss a proposed ordinance change Monday night that would affect the way trash... More >>
12 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 10:35:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council will look at what could turn into a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, or PDMP,... More >>
1 day ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 7:00:00 PM CST in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Two people were arrested after taking law enforcement on a high speed chase throughout mid-Missouri Sunday, according... More >>
1 day ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 6:36:00 PM CST in Coverage From Callaway
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A group of homeowners raised money for a man who was arrested in their neighborhood after... More >>
1 day ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 6:05:00 PM CST in News
OVERLAND - The Overland Police Department cancelled the Amber Alert for a 9-month-old boy Sunday. According to police, the... More >>
1 day ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 2:10:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has started complaining about the coverage his administration receives, but the Republican... More >>
1 day ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 1:21:21 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 62°
11pm 59°
12am 59°
1am 57°
2am 56°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
11:00p
Rules of Engagement
11:30p
Rules of Engagement
12:00a
Raising Hope

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
9:00p
Timeless
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld