Just this morning I got a flyer in the mail from the city asking me to complete a survey for Reducing Consumption of Plastic and Paper Single-Use Carry-Out Shopping Bags.
There's an ordinance in the works to switch over to reusable shopping bags as soon as next July.
The city claims we use 490 million single-use carry out bags per year. Doesn't really matter either if you repurpose your bag. If it goes in the trash anyway, it's in the landfill forever. Same with the plastic bags that do get recycled - the things they become are still plastic and still end up in the landfill forever. Not to mention the toxic chemical output necessary to re-process them into a new shape.
Paper, paper, paper. Trees are farmed, they grow back, yes, they do - take a quick trip into timberland and tour a lumbermill once in your life. Personally, if that's not included in the "100 Things to Do Before You Die" I think it should be.
Paper is a renewable source and not a petroleum by product and it biodegrades, naturally.
For certain bringing in your own mismatched bags to the market is goofy. It's like wearing a bike helmet for the first time as an adult, something we didn't do grow up doing. But then you get used to it and it becomes routine. Soon you don't enter the store without your own bags. And the bonus? Our local grocers give us 5 cents back per bag...over the course of the month that's about $4 back in my pocket and the satisfaction of knowing I haven't supported the crude oil producers.
I completed the survey and hope that other local businesses will also be in favor of the new ordinance.