• Plastic bottle ban on Cape Cod? One group is trying

    By: Robert Goulston

    Updated:

    A group on Cape Cod is trying to stop the sale and use of plastic beverage bottles in all 15 towns -- similar to what Concord, Mass. did several years ago.  

    Sustainable Practices says it launched the campaign this week to help teach people the environmental and human impact of plastic bottle consumption. 

    Dr. Madhavi Venkatesan, who also teaches economics at Northeastern University, is the founder of Sustainable Practices.

    "If you just look back 30 years when I was growing up we had water fountains, everything was in bottles, glass bottles. The market has a vail. So when we go to the store, we don't see the impact of the production process and we go to the trash can, we don't see the impact of our waste," said Venkatesan.

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    Environmental officials say about 80 percent of the bottles end up in landfills, which means roughly for every ten bottles we drink, two end up in recycling bins.

    Officials estimate the United States consumes about 1,500 plastic bottle drinks per second and it is a human and environmental hazard.

    Dr. Venkatesan is leading an effort called Cape Plastic Bottle Ban, which would ultimately ban the sale of plastic bottles across the Cape. 

    The documentary 'Divide in Concord' chronicled how Concord, Mass. went through the three-year fight to ban plastic bottles. The video is being shown in the coming weeks at local libraries in all but one Cape town.

    "It's our way of showing you how it can be done, the pitfalls of the process," said Venkatesan.

    The overall idea is to change policy and laws on using plastic bottles on the Cape, but it begins with educating and empowering people to start the process.

    "So people can see how they can live - in harmony - with their personal values and their actions so they can help facilitate that long-term sustainability," said Venkatesan. 

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