Wednesday, August 1, 2012

No More Plastic Grocery Bags

Bellingham’s ban on non-reusable plastic grocery bags begins today.  Paper grocery bags are available at the check-out counter, but they cost 5 cents each.  We have a variety of reusable grocery bags that we’ve collected over the past few years, but I, for one, am not in the regular habit of using them.

I’m not opposed to reusable bags.  I’m just not good at remembering to take them back out to the car.  And I’m especially bad at remembering to take them with me into the store.

Also, there have been numerous incidents of food-borne illness associated with reusable grocery bags, but I would guess this would only be a problem if the bags aren’t washed between uses.  Unfortunately, not all of our bags are machine washable.

This lovely reusable shopping tote probably wouldn’t do well in the washing machine, so it will only be used for non-food items.

Fortunately, we have several bags that hold up well with regular machine washing and drying, like this one from Target.  This type of bag is inexpensive and readily available.

I especially like this bag because it folds up into a nice little packet to be kept in my purse for those times when I forget to take a bag with me into the store.

I understand the reasons for the plastic bag ban, even though having to deal with reusable bags isn’t always convenient.  Protecting wildlife and marine life is important.  And nobody likes to see trash lying around, and those lightweight plastic grocery bags take flight with the slightest breeze, ending up in all sorts of places they don’t’ belong. 

In the whole grand scheme of things, manufacturing and throwing away fewer plastic bags doesn’t seem like it would make much of a difference, except maybe for the marine life and wildlife that won’t be suffering and dying as a result of ingesting them. 

Using reusable shopping bags may be a bit inconvenient, but considering all things unwanted and horrible in our lives, it’s really not a big deal.  And even if using reusable bags only makes a little difference, I think it’s worth the small amount of effort required.


1 comment:

  1. I agree. Remembering to have it with you is the hardest part. I also miss using the bags for my bathroom garbage bags.