Inconvenient truth: cloth bags are inconvenient
February 15, 2014
I like the plastic grocery bags. They are light, compact and handy. Used ones make good packing material for shipping parcels. They are handy for wrapping household wet garbage, dog poop and small household items I don't want to lose. They are lightweight, which means there is less delivery fuel consumed than Kraft paper when being transported to the store and to the recycler.
The alternative of the government requiring reusable bags implies that I will always have the proper amount of clean cloth bags in my car, no matter if I am buying just milk, eggs or lettuce, or whether I am on a week's shopping collection with two carts full. And chances are that the correct bags will be in my wife's car, or the other way around.
Charging pennies for each one will cause frustrating delays as the bag person discovers another bag is needed just as the main transaction is consummated. Picture having signed the $150 purchase on your credit card, and the clerk suddenly realizes that you owe another five cents for an additional bag. You fumble for exact change and don't have it, requiring to break a $5 bill into coins, all while there is an impatient line of others, six deep behind you and glaring at you.
Life is hurried and complex these days. Let's help keep it simple, allow the use of plastic bags when we want (while encouraging people to bring them back for reuse or recycling … as stated, they make good packing material).
Patrick D. Tobin
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