Virginia is failing its sea life

Published 9:35 pm Friday, June 28, 2019

To the editor:

Virginia’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in the country. Even more importantly, we support thousands of sea life species beyond our shores, including familiar faces such as whales, dolphins, turtles and seals. But our overuse of plastic products is killing the very creatures we love to visit.

One of the worst killers is polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam, which takes hundreds of years to decompose.

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This suffocates Virginia sea creatures, resulting in hundreds of stories such as whales washing up on shores with bellies stuffed with plastic. This is not the fault of the whale. This is our fault.

Every Virginian can play some small part to eliminate plastic in their own life and preserve a state that we can continue to live in safely. Reuse tote bags at the grocery store. Buy reusable straws. Decline foam containers in favor of reusable containers. These small acts could save a creature’s life.

Virginia leaders need to take responsibility as well, and take action as other states have, such as Maine, in banning foam cups and plastic containers. As it is our duty to take personal action, it is on our elected officials to lead the state against plastic pollution.

Play your part, and encourage leaders to do the same. Millions of sea animals will thank you.

Rachel Richardson