Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese

California and Plastic Bag Use

plastic-bag-in-tree-600x400Lawmakers in California are currently trying to pass a statewide ban on plastic bags-you know, those things that you see drifting through the streets from time to time on the whim of the wind, kind of like urban tumbleweeds? Thin plastic bags have been banned in Seattle since July 1st, 2012, yet they still seem to exist here and there, and thicker, more durable versions are available in grocery stores. The argument against plastic bags is a strong one given their tendency to end up in landfills or amongst the feet of sidewalk travelers after a singe use, and of course, it would be nice if we could cut down on the very production of plastic.. Those who protest the movement against plastic bags cite their potential to be reused on the next trip to the store or reused as trash bags, saving the consumer from needing to purchase the latter.

The plastic debate notwithstanding, I think the higher goal here is to move into the habit of bringing our own bags when we go shopping, thereby reducing the need for production that in many cases turns into waste after a one-time use. It may seem alarming at first to have to pay extra for bags at the store, but bringing our own seems like a small sacrifice that has the potential to make a big difference if the trend catches on across the country. I’m one of those people who can forget something like bringing a bag to the store extremely easily, so I’ve tried to make sure I leave it right next to the door so that it’s in plain sight every time I’m about to leave the house. If you drive to the store, you could leave your bag(s) in your car. The strategies are endless.

Where do you come down on the plastic bag debate?

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