Yesterday I heard that California was considering passing a law banning plastic bags. My inner enviro-warrior cheered. But the practical side of me was feeling a little “meh” about it.
Practically speaking, there are tons of laws out there. Tons. Do we (yes, I say we even though I don’t live in California) really need a new one? I really want to answer no, BUT, on the other hand I have a lot of hatred for plastic bags. I started using reusuable bags as soon as I saw them, yet, somehow, I still have about 5 million and 7 of those stupid plastic bags around my house. I reuse them as trash bin liners, I use them to pick up dog “waste”, I carry lunches in them, I put them in my car for trash… how do I still have so many when my husband and I only bring about 2 a month into the house?!?!
So because plastic grocery bags live forever, both in my house and in landfills, I would really really like it if they were phased out. But the idea of doing it by law makes me a little squeamish. It seems to me that it would be easier for individual stores to stop offering them. I know several places just around my little town that expect you to use leftover boxes they provide or bring your own bag. It’s not a hassle even if you don’t it when you go in because one leftover cardboard box will contain what it would take 30 plastic shopping bags to hold. Why can’t more stores do that? Why does there have to be a law requiring it before anything happens?
In other news, I heard this morning that the proposed law didn’t actually happen because of heavy lobbying by the chemical company that manufactures most of the plastic bags used in the US. While I’m clearly not sure about how I feel about the law, I think that is a terrible reason for it not to have happened.