Torn. A Plastic dilemma

Remember when you went to supermarket and the checker would ask you paper or plastic?

Today at most stores its plastic or plastic.    Small plastic bags to Mega plastic bags large enough to hold a screaming toddler( not that you would ever place someones screaming child in a large plastic bag-even though that child was pushing a shopping cart into your body as his mom chatted on the phone about her controlling mother in law).

When I lived in San Francisco,  I was amazed how quickly the ladies in Chinatown could package your items or food in those orange plastic bags.

If you are a grocer, plastic bags are less expensive than paper.  If you are a consumer, the plastic bags are stronger than paper unless you shop at some of these bag yourself warehouse type stores.    Winn Co and Food Co bags are the worse, you may make to the car with a single bag, but you wont make it to the house. So while they say don’t double bag, who are they kidding!

The problem with plastic bags is the clog up our landfills, and unlike paper they don’t break down.    Most of the world do not share our plastic problem as they have been recycling for generations.   People instinctively take a bag when they go shopping .

America is slow to embrace the concept, its a learning curve.

Many of the big warehouse stores recycle, you wont get a bag at Costco, you’ll get a box. a box that was unpacked earlier in the day.     Ikea charges for bags.

A couple of year ago I saw a women in Trader Joe’s with reusable bag.   I bought two that day.

Some people collect Tee Shirts, I collect reusable shopping bags.   When I travel, I pack my brown Bel-Air/Raley’s Bags  the bags have many uses from food to books.   A woman from Orangevale  stopped me in a store outside of  Portland and asked if I was from Sacramento.     I now have bags from stores all over the country.

“Shop the Pig” yes, I will have this one t00… day…      The bags have many uses, light compact and one bag carries more than three plastic bags.  I’ve seen them at City College they are excellent book bags and at 99 cents there a steal.      My bag will hold two gallons of milk and fruit.

When I remember, there is a sense of pride when I bring my bags (which are in the trunk of my car).

My dilemma is I’m not sure I could live without my plastic bags.    They have so many last minute uses.    My primary use is for garbage.  When I was a child we lined the garbage can with newspaper and then sat a large supermarket bag in the can

I always have a few plastic bags around the house.      I don’t live in Bedrock,  I don’t have an animal under my sink to dispose of my garbage and waste and I am honestly too lazy to wash a garbage can every day. so what to do?

A couple a years ago the City of San Francisco banned plastic bags, eliminating five million plastic bags a month.

Currently there is a Bill (1998)in California that would eliminate single use plastic bags from all grocery,convenience and drugstore.     Consumers would have a choice of paying five cents per bag or bringing their own bag. Governor Schwarzenegger said he supports and would sign the bill.      The plastic industry lobbyist are naturally against this.   The stakes are high, first California then the rest of the nation.

Will I be forced to buy garbage bags?

Stay tuned


Published by CityFella

Moved to the Big Tomata in the nineties from San Francisco. No Suburbs for me with its single colored houses and lawns and the excitement of pulling out my trash can once a week. I'm a CityFella , a part time New Yorker. I'm happiest in the Center City where people the streets and people are alive. I'm still waiting to buy a 34th floor condo somewhere downtown/Midtown with a nightclub. "Hurry I'm old" My politics are somewhere in the middle with a needle that constantly moves. I'm too liberal to be a Republican and too conservative to be a Democrat. Everything interests me . I've come to love Sacratomato, Its a nice town in cheap sensible shoes .

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