Letters/Editor

I’ve got a brand new bag, baby

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor, Reminder Publishing

G. MICHAEL DOBBS

I hope you’re not upset about the gradual but inevitable demise of the single-use shopping bag.
I’m sure some people are. There are always people who seek to be upset if their status quo is disturbed.
The simple truth is we once lived without one-time plastic bags and we can live without them now.
Granted I’m an aging Baby Boomer, but I clearly remember when the paper shopping bag was king. Paper bags could be re-used and we turned to them when we were told to cover our textbooks with brown paper.
Do I have to explain the term “text book” to the whippersnappers?
A paper bag was the way you could ripen fruit such as plums and peaches, as well.
And once upon a time many stores gave shoppers a choice: plastic or paper. Some even offered a paper bag inside of a plastic one.
That was a high-class establishment.
Granted plastic bags have their charms, but it’s mostly in the service of disposing of trash and dog poop.
A few years ago the Chicopee City Council attempted to institute a single-use plastic bag ban in that city. The response from the electorate was strong and immediate. The objections centered on dog poop. People told the council they needed plastic bags in order to clean up after their pooches.
The proposed ordinance was soon dead, and the dog owners prevailed.
The decision by the Big Y should be celebrated. The stand that company is taking is a very real step forward in addressing an element of trash that is ubiquitous. How many times have you seen plastic bags hanging in trees or rolling in the wind like a tumbleweed?
Few of us can see the fact the bags clog landfills, even though it’s apparent they do.
All we have to do now is remember the bags we buy in the store. Of course, for an aging Baby Boomer this is a hurdle that must be overcome.
Shopping is often-times an improvised kind of activity and my wife and I have amassed quite a collection of shopping bags. The issue is making sure there are a significant number of them in the car.
Then, of course, I have to remember to bring them into the store. My mind is usually occupied with remembering the list of items I needed to buy.
So inevitably I wind up buying another bag.
That’s okay. I’d rather do that than use a bag that is still going to be around long after me.
Concerned about losing plastic bags? Elated they are on the way out? Drop me a line and tell me at [email protected]

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