C-U can learn from Austin, Texas

C-U can learn from Austin, Texas

My husband and I recently returned from a trip to Austin, Texas, and were struck by the cleanliness of the streets and business areas there. Several years ago, the city banned the use of plastic bags, and the improvement to the environment has been remarkable.

There was grumbling among the population when the measures were first introduced, but gradually, people became accustomed to carrying reusable bags into stores.

There was an adjustment period, but given the lack of plastic bags and other trash along the streets now, some kind of pride in their city seems to have taken hold of the residents. The benefits to the city in particular and the planet in general are obvious.

My question is, if a city of that size can demonstrate some civic responsibility, why can't Champaign-Urbana?

A quick drive down North Prospect and around the businesses there, and elsewhere, certainly highlights the need for some responsible action from citizens and businesses alike.

Every individual has the capacity to work toward correcting this situation, but we also need strong leadership to show some initiative and, perhaps, institute actions similar to those in Austin and other communities that have a realistic outlook on the plastic problem our planet is facing.

It's particularly puzzling, in a university town, why we would not want to put our best foot forward and demonstrate real concern for the cosmetics of the city and a commitment to repairing a real blight.

My hope is to see some positive developments.

DONNA LEA

White Heath