The State of Michigan has no plastic bag bans. However, that doesn’t mean the citizens aren’t concerned about the environment and the harms that plastic bags cause.
In Cheboygan, a concerned group has taken the initiative to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags. The Straits Area Concerned Citizens for Peace and Justice and the Environment started a campaign in early 2014 to get the town to adopt a resolution to support the initiative.
According to the group at straitpeace.org, plastic bags make up 13% of the trash on local Cheboygan beaches. They estimate that 5.3 million plastic shopping bags are used in Cheboygan county each year. The mission of the initiative is to convince citizens to switch to reusable bags.
Straitpeace.org convinced the Cheboygan County Board of Commissioners to adopt the resolution in October, 2014. At the regular December 9 City Council meeting, the Cheboygan City Council discussed the measure. The Council unanimously approved a motion to adopt: A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Cheboygan, Michigan Supporting the “Cheboygan First in Reducing Plastic Bags” (First in Michigan) Initiative.
Now the group has their own reusable bag to promote the initiative. In the above photo, City Council poses with their honorary presentation of Bring It Cheboygan! bags after their April 26 meeting. These locally-designed and made re-usable bags were premiered at the Earth Week Plus Expo on April 23 and are sold locally at Billie's, Bittersweet, Brick Oven Bakery, The Flower Coop, Purple Tree Coffee Shop, Up North, and Zany Kitchen.
Straits Area Audubon Society is helping to raise the $20 per bag cost to make sure each city and county official has a bag. Said David Martin, aka 'Plastic-Bag Man' of Bring It Cheboygan!,
“By choosing re-usable bags to replace plastic bags, you reduce energy use, litter and pollution, and protect wildlife as well as roadsides. Safeguarding what attracts our visitors and makes Cheboygan County a nice place to live depends on all of us doing what we can,” said David Martin, aka 'Plastic-Bag Man' of Bring It Cheboygan!,
Councilman King stated that personally he has reusable shopping bags and, “Once you break the habit and incorporate it into your daily routine, it’s a no-brainer, as is the Resolution.”
Cheboygan, a town of 4800 people, sits at the mouth of Cheboygan River which empties into Lake Huron at the northern tip of the State of Michigan.
Courtesy Straits Area Audubon Society
Cover photo: Cheboygan Harbor, MI. Credit: US Army Corps of Engineers. Commercial docks, which are used primarily for receipt of petroleum products, exist along the river.