Ban the bags

DSCN0327This is such a common sight, it’s almost a part of our modern landscape. This wayward bag is in our neighbor’s crabapple tree. We are so close to the water that it could easily blow into the salt pond and end up being consumed by an unsuspecting fish or turtle. I even see them incorporated into osprey nests.

Once again, the issue of plastic grocery bags has surfaced in the Rhode Island legislature, and people are debating the merits of banning them. I don’t understand what the big deal is. They’re not necessary and they hurt the environment. Other countries, and my former home province of Quebec have banned them.

I’ve been bringing reusable bags to the store for years. I keep a bunch in my car. My husband never remembers to bring his … or maybe he doesn’t want to be seen carrying pretty little reusables.

Considering these bags take a thousand years to decompose in a landfill, I think we need to stop using them, and the sooner the better. Here is an interesting website dedicated to their eradication.

Do you use plastic grocery bags? Do you think it’s an important environmental issue, or do you wish I would just shut up already? I think, regardless of how we feel now, their days are definitely numbered.


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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15 Responses to Ban the bags

  1. Andy Brown says:

    I was in Ireland when they introduced a 15 cent tax on plastic bags at the supermarket. I think within a month or two they’d reduced usage by over 90%. The remarkable thing was that there wasn’t really any groundswell to do away with plastic bags, but it only took a few trips to the grocery store before people decided that bringing your own bag was a lot better than spending a euro or two on the plastic.


  2. Lee says:

    You’re right; the bags are ugly and dangerous if tossed into the environment. I don’t know why more users don’t recycle them. And, like your husband, I never remember my reusable bag, while my wife never forgets hers. At least I remember to recycle.


    • dirtynailz says:

      Good for you, Lee. My husband recycles too, but not grocery bags.


      • Lee May says:

        Speaking of Preludes, (OK, that was another blog, another conversation), HAL must love that car too, as he disappeared your most recent comment to me. Re-post, and I’ll keep HAL handcuffed.


  3. The bags have stopped being issued by a lot of major retailers here in Ontario, as well, but not all of them. Some of the stores that hand them out charge for them, and that is a way of encouraging people to use their own bags. I have a lot of reusable bags in my car that I use regularly, and I recycle all the extra plastic bags that end up going home with me. I agree that the days are numbered for plastic bags. Or, at the very least, their numbers will be drastically reduced.


  4. herbdoc says:

    Up until a few months ago, Stop and Shop gave the customer .05 for every reusable bag that s/he used. I thought this was a great idea; it wasn’t a lot of money, but it did encourage folks to recycle.
    I like that idea of charging customers who do use them, Martha, or simply outlawing them! Most places have brown paper bags anyway if you ask for them. Speaking of those that can be reused, my absolute favorites are the briefcase, refrigerated bags sold by Trader Joe’s. They are absolutely fantastic and hold a bunch!


  5. CJ Wright says:

    Plastic bags are horrible! So is my memory. I have the reusables, but like your husband, I can forget to take them into the store. I think they should definitely be banned. Instead of paying a dollar for a reusable, charge a dollar for each plastic bag used to put groceries in. That’s a hefty price. And let’s get rid of plastic bottles, too. What’s wrong with glass? It’s recyclable and environmentally friendly.


    • dirtynailz says:

      I just keep several permanently in my trunk. That way, I have no excuses – except of course when I find myself at the check-out having forgotten to bring them into the store. That doesn’t happen often, though.


  6. Lib says:

    Give yourself some time to make it a habit bringing your bags into the stores. It WILL become habit and then you will feel empty handed if you walk in without them!


    • dirtynailz says:

      I agree! It’s kind of like making yourself drink more water. Once you get used to it, it becomes second nature.


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