Wednesday, March 12, 2008

To Have or Not to Have Plastic Bags

That is the question. In the news today, the Boston City Council is considering a two cent fee for every shopping plastic bag that people use. This amount could increase to 15 cents by 2015.

According to Councilor Robert Consalvo, who sponsored this bill, wants this bill to also institute a recycling program for the current amount of plastic bags and introduce bio-degradable bags into these stores.

In this article it goes on and talks about the concern for the elderly folks who ride the T. The claim is that it is easier to for these folks to carry plastic bags. I have switched over to reusable bags for probably close to a year now and I find they are WAY easier to carry then the plastic bags that leave my fingers numb from all the weight of my food. I love food too, so I have a huge grocery list and these reusable bags make the climb to my third floor apartment much easier.

Additionally, reusable bags don't break as easily. I often see grocers double bag items because of the weight of the food could easily make one plastic bag break. I used to get so annoyed with grocers when they would put one item in one plastic bag because of the weight of it.

It also cuts down on the amount of plastic bags around your place. I used to have a big pile in the corner that would keep piling up until I remembered to bring it to the store and by that time I was overrun with plastic bags.

When the weather gets warmer you can find reusable bags that keep your food cool while you shop. Jamie and I use a bag that is originally designed to keep your food and drinks cool while at the beach. It keeps the food fresher from the grocer's freezer to my freezer. I have even seen backpacks used, which are even easier to carry compared with traditional reusable shopping bags.

What are your thoughts of this proposed bill?

What a mess!

Photo courstesy of


hannah said...

whole foods is getting rid of plastic bags altogether...

Liz said...

I saw that story in today's paper too. We have other vice taxes, and we already tax corporations through pollution credits (or whatever it's actually called.) Transitioning to BYOB(ags) or going paper-only might not be easy for some people, but it's about time we become accountable at the individual level.

Krystle said...

I agree we have to be held acountable at the individual level. The title is funny BYOB(ags)

John R said...

Whole Foods gives you 3 cents off you bill for every bag you bring in. While checking out one day I forgot to bring in my bag but instead of taking one of their bags I decided to carry my items out (in my hands). When I asked if the 3 cent credit could still be applied they said no. This confuses me. If the point is to reduce the use of disposable bags isn’t my non-use of a bag a reduction? Or, is the point to sell a reusable bag?

Casey said...

Plastic bags cause an incredible amount of pollution.

I visited a volcanic black sand beach in Nicaragua that looked white from all the plastic bags trapped in the sands (not to mention the incredibly polluted water). How disgusting.

Anything we can do to reduce them is good, including this "vice tax."

Casey said...

Apparently many consumers say that plastic packaging is not necessary, especially if it means they'll be saving the environment. Muy interesante.