Posted by Fiona
A few weeks ago Seattle debated on whether or not to charge 20 cents for the use of plastic bags at the grocery store. I’m not sure if charging 20 cents per bag is the answer or not but I am sure that we need to curb and eventually eliminate the use of plastic bags.
There are many options of containers to load your groceries and goods into when shopping. Canvas bags, re-used cardboard boxes, no bag at all for only a few items. The hard thing is remembering to take the bag/box/whatever to the store with you when you go. I always keep a canvas bag neatly folded (most of the time) in my purse. Obviously, that’s not a realistic option for people but the trick is to find something that works for you as an individual.
That’s why a 20 cent charge per bag would work-it would certainly help me to remember to bring my bag. The 5 cents off per canvas bag I bring to the store certainly doesn’t pop into my head every time I head to Freddy’s. What does keep me in check, though, is a strong commitment to a world free from plastic bag tumbleweeds and the stronghold of big business. It makes me feel really good to bring my own bags to the store, every store, every time.
As you may have heard, the plastic industry is the force behind the push to get the issue on the ballot in Seattle. A decrease in use of the plastic bag would force the industry to change “business as usual”, something that makes stagnant companies knees knock. Perhaps putting a clog in the demand stream would change the supply-the plastic bag industry would have to find a better, more sustainable bag.
Sometimes it’s very hard to keep my mouth shut about things I am passionate about. When my friends and family use plastic bags I commonly nag them about using a canvas bag. Their argument almost always is “What will I pick up the dog/cat poop with?”. The bread we buy, the newspapers that show up on our front porch (whether we want them or not) all comes in a plastic bag. I bring these along when I take my dog on walks. My mom re-uses her plastic bags as trash bags (small trash cans). I get the frugality of this but why not use a paper bag or biodegradable bags. What is the point of wrapping up your trash so it lasts for thousands of years?
The 20 cent charge per plastic bag may not be happening in Seattle. But I dream-I believe- in a world free of those tumbleweeds. I believe in a world free from the plastic industry and dependence on fossil fuels. And, with ecoShuttle as my testament, if I dream it, it can happen.
Don’t forget your bag!!