Should Plastic Grocery Bags Be Banned?

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The more I read about plastic grocery bags, the more I believe that plastic grocery bags should be banned. Their impact on this planet is destructive and everlasting. Plastic grocery bags are littered everywhere on Earth, from the side of Long Point Road to Antarctica.

Maybe you’ve heard about the folks in China who have named the tumbleweeds of plastic bags “white pollution.” Or the South Africans who are now skilled in plastic bag home construction.

Perhaps you’ve read about the 100,000 marine animals that die annually from entrapment or ingestion of plastic grocery bags. Don’t forget, the plastic that trapped the turtle will be free to go as soon the body decomposes.

We know those bags are non-biodegradable. We know they are made from a non-renewable source. We know that 12 million barrels of oil are used to produce the 100 billion plastic grocery bags Americans use.

Yet, they are still being handed to us, free.

In my pantry hangs an over-sized canvass bag with a Ron Jon logo printed on the front. Inside the bag are ten other canvass bags, with varying logos. The floors of my car are littered with canvass bags. My diaper bag is a canvass bag with the words, “Stop using plastic bags,” printed boldly in green. I may have more canvass bags than shoes.

It has been over a year since I have used a plastic grocery store bag. I love it (far more than composting.) My favorite bags have long handles so I can sling them over my shoulders. I have smaller bags for eggs or cleaning supplies. Any food that is in a bag, like bread and chips, well, those are in a bag already.

I bag my own groceries, and would like to say that the grocery stores have not been all that obliging. But, as the weeks have passed, the clerks have noticed that I am not going back to using their bags. Though my bagging buddy
Jack, finally confided to me that he was proud of my effort, I still feel like a sideshow at the checkout.

Now, to all you customers out there that are still using plastic bags, go ahead and ask me why I’ve switched. What is disturbing is that there are so many reasons to change, I could give different answers every time. So, instead of staring at me and thinking, “Well, she does have her nose pierced too…” buy the 99 cent reusable bags now offered at Harris Teeter, Bi-Lo, Publix and Whole Food stores. Check out There are options that are easily accessible, use them instead. The more WE change, the more the manufacturers will notice.

I love my canvass bag collection. It’s all machine washable, air dryable, and 100% reusable. We know all the reasons to stop using plastic grocery bags, and paper bags, we just have to do it!!

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