Sustain Jefferson distributes cloth bags

Kathy Adams, left, a member of Sustain Jefferson, hands out reusable cloth produce bags to a vendor at the Fort Farmers Market.

FORT ATKINSON -- Reusable cloth produce bags replaced plastic bags recently when Sustain Jefferson members distributed the handmade bags to vendors at the Fort Farmers Market.

Market vendors used the free fabric produce bags when selling vegetables to their customers, who were encouraged to reuse the bags. Sustain Jefferson plans to make more cloth produce bags -- all made from donated reused fabrics -- and distribute them at other area farmers markets urging people to give up plastic bags.

Making the cloth bags and handing them out at farmers markets is part of Sustain Jefferson continuing project aimed at reducing the use of plastics by raising awareness of the environmental hazards of plastics and urging people to find alternatives. The local non-profit organization has formed a Plastic Reduction Action Team.

"Anything and everything people do to reduce their use of plastics helps reduce the amount of plastic poisoning our environment," Linda Nichols, Sustain Jefferson president, said.

Nichols noted that plastic pollutes at every step, not just when plastic waste enters the environment. Plastic begins its life as fossil fuels. The manufacturing process also causes pollution. Factories that produce plastic and its various chemical ingredients release a variety of pollutants that harm surrounding communities.

For more information about Sustain Jefferson and projects of the Plastic Reduction Action Team visit sustainjefferson.org.

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