Saturday, July 13, 2013

Paying for Plastic Bags in Stores

Our city passed an ordinance effective July 1, 2013, requiring customers to pay ten cents for a plastic bag in food stores. This is to encourage people to bring their own recyclable bags. I grumbled a little about this but supported the basic concept of trying to reduce plastics in the environment. So this last Monday when I went to the food store, I dutifully took a whole bunch of cloth bags to use. Checking out took a lot longer, and I had already heard the checkout clerks grumbling about the negative effect on their job.

Then today, I went to a pharmacy to purchase a knee brace, birthday card, hand lotion and candy. When I checked out, the clerk asked if I wanted to pay for a bag. This caught me by surprise, and now having earned my curmudgeon stripes, I asked, not in the most polite voice, what was going on since I thought this was only for food stores. No, I was informed, since the pharmacy also sells food, the new regulations apply to them as well. Not having come prepared to be an environmentally aware consumer in the pharmacy, I sucked it up and grudgingly paid my ten cents.

The first time I encountered this type of law was a year ago when I attended the Malice Domestic mystery conference in Bethesda, Maryland. I went to buy a tuna sandwich in a Subway shop and was informed that I would need to invest to obtain a plastic bag for my sandwich.

Ah, well. I guess I’ll have to stock the trunk of my car with cloth bags or feed the city coffers whenever I shop. C’est La vie.

What do you think of this type of ordinance?

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