California is leading the way, once again. The City of Los Angeles is about to ban the plastic bag…
San Jose, Long Beach, Berkeley, Malibu, and San Francisco have already banned plastic bags making plastic bag fees sound like an ancient practice (they’re pretty strict about the 5 cent fee here in D.C.). Yes, plastic bags can be helpful on a grocery run, as a smaller garbage bag, and clean up your furry friend, but like so many things that we’ve done here in the U.S., plastic bags started showing up everywhere and then we made a mess. They began to show up in our beaches affecting wildlife and in our streets affecting runoff flows.
In L.A., if you forget your reusable bag you have the option for a 10 cent paper bag, and that’s per bag. The phrase “paper or plastic” will be a slogan for the history books. Most groceries today even give you a discount for bringing your reusable bags. Don’t forget to clean and wash your reusable bags too, I’ve heard they collect some interesting things after several uses.
And it never hurts to carry a sandwich, snacks, or your lunch in your hands without a bag at all. When I don’t have lunch, I usually go to a nearby Au Bon Pain (somehow they have fifteen locations in a three block radius) and the cashier knows me there. By habit she asks all the customers if they would like a bag and she asks me as well; now, she doesn’t even ask if I want a bag or corrects herself because she knows I don’t like/need a bag and that I’ll carry it in my hands. In other trips for small items I find myself giving back a bag and saying “save a bag”. I like never having to worry that a reusable bag is going to rip. Sometimes I grab reusable bags from places I visit, such as my recent $1.99 purchase for a scenic Yosemite bag. So, do you part and “save a bag”. Cheers.