NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

April 4, 2014

Don't resort to paper bags

To the editor:

I have thought very hard about my response to the plastic bag ban and would like to first address some concerns raised with the ban and second ask that people please not resort to paper bags if the ban is enacted.

The ban will have little effect on retail stores. It only encompasses the stereotypical thin plastic bags, not the thicker ones used by retail stores. The hope with the ban is that by starting with one type of bag, it will motivate retail stores to voluntarily make reusable bags available to shoppers. The Citizens for Sustainable Bagging have tried to include citizens and store owners in the process as much as possible. They have issued two surveys: one for stores and one for citizens and both indicated there was large support for the ban. Additionally, they have held open meetings throughout the planning process.

Some people have raised that a ban is too abrupt and that instead recycling should be instituted. According to the EPA, less than 5 percent of plastic bags are recycled. Even if the bags make it into the recycling bin, there is a huge issue with contaminants that obstructs many bags from being recycled. Even still, recycling still does take energy. Finally, since plastic bags cannot be recycled curbside, if people are willing to bring the bags to recycling bins in stores, they might as well bring reusable bags.

The ban is trying to help people change their habits. Most people agree that plastic bags are harmful, but need the extra mental reminder a ban would provide. The ban will have a six-month grace period that will allow people time to buy reusable bags, which are easily and cheaply available at the supermarket, and use plastic and paper bags until they establish a habit of bringing reusable bags. There are even bags that conveniently fold up and fit in a purse. One tip that helped me make the switch was writing remember bags at the top of my grocery list.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans