Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bring your own bags, or pay the price

How would your plastic bag usage change if you had to pay for them? I recently read about IN House Bill 1521, a bill that if passed would mean consumers would be charged 10 cents per plastic bag they use at stores. I’m a bit of a cynic when it comes to politics and don’t want to get my hopes up, but I can’t help but be giddy at the thought of a fee to use plastics and how it would hopefully make people think twice before loading up on the things.

What I’d really like to see is a ban on plastic bags altogether like San Francisco has done, but hey, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. This is after all the Midwest, not exactly known for its progressive prowess. But speaking of San Francisco, has anyone been to the city since the plastic bag ban was instituted? I would love to hear from you. People are surviving okay without them, right?

The reasons to avoid plastic bags as much as possible are obvious and it can only be good news for all of us and for the environment.If passed, the plastic bag fees will become effective January 1, 2012. I’m hopeful that this topic will get exposure and becovered widely in the media and that more and more people will become conscious of wasteful plastic bags.

I love that our awesome library stopped offering plastic bags to patrons over a year ago (way to go, HEPL!). People seem to have adapted just fine. You go into Aldi's, you pay for your bags or bring your own. You go into Costco? No free bags there, either. You learn to bring your own, or pay for plastic, and it’s really not that hard. Once again, just like most things, it becomes a habit.

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