All summer the eco-geek inside me had been looking forward to August 1. That was the day when our fine city was to join the likes of Seattle, Portland and Boulder, CO with a ban on flimsy plastic grocery store bags. I was so excited…
…until I realized our ban was no ban at all because a loophole in the ordinance effectively makes the ban the joke of the country. Rather than taking a strong stance in defense of the environment, our alderman passed a law banning plastic bags that still allows for plastic bags.
What the what?!
Familiar plastic bags are banned, but the law allows stores to offer plastic bags that are at least 2.25 mils thick, have handles and can carry at least 22 pounds for at least 125 uses. So that just means that the stores are offering thicker plastic bags that are worse for the planet!
Seriously, these new bags are as thick as a Hefty garbage bag. And just like their banished cousins, I see the new bags tumbling through alleys and stuck in trees. It breaks my heart to know that our city failed our planet…and that people are still tossing these bags on the ground.
I almost lost my mind the other day when I was at the local grocery store. I took an old plastic bag out of my purse to reuse it, but the check-out lady refused to use it. She said she could get in trouble for reusing the old plastic bag. She said the law required her to use the new plastic bag. She said I could not re-use a plastic bag!!!!!!
So, here is the thing: we all have to stop using plastic bags. All the time. Like, never ever can we use plastic bags. Stash a few reusable ones in the car, in your purse, at the bottom of the stroller. And, if you forget your resusable ones punish yourself - not the planet and the future generations who intend to call this place home! - and carry the groceries home without the help of a bag.
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