The first time I saw one of those “El Paso Pigeons” was the summer of 2012. My brother-in-law and I were standing in the backyard when he pointed up in the air and said, “Look, there is an El Paso pigeon.” In the beginning, I did not know what he meant by that because I was looking at the sky, searching for any kind of bird, but I could not see anything. “Right there in the tree,” he said, and pointed at a plastic bag that was stuck in a tree. At that moment, I did not spend much time thinking about those “pigeons,” but since that day, I see those plastic bags wherever I go. They are flying around, hanging in trees, or piling up on fences. Not only that, they mess up the appearance of the city, harm the environment, and can cause floods when they are stuck in storm drains.
The city of El Paso noticed this problem a long time ago, but there were no major decisions made since the last council meeting about recycling in September 2012. According to an article in The El Paso Times, the El Paso City Council voted on Monday, September 17, to continue encouraging the public to recycle plastic shopping bags. This decision was made during a special meeting on how to clean up the city and prevent the plastic bags from clogging up the storm drains. Northeast city representative Carl Robinson said, “At this point we are continuing to support citizens of El Paso to recycle their plastic bags.” This is a good way to start, but I believe that the city has to do more than that.
Recycling was never a big problem for me because I grew up in Germany, and I learned to recycle when I was I kid. Recycling is an important topic in Europe, and the United States should also make it significant. It is clear that this will not happen overnight, but this country has to start somewhere.
If the city council wants to change something, then it has to ban those plastic bags from the city. We need a law to ban plastic bags like those in Los Angeles...