Letter to the Editor: Against Plastic Grocery Bag Ban

By JOHN STEPHENSON
White Rock

I’m writing to voice my opposition to the idea of a plastic grocery bag ban that’s been going around lately. Bag bans have become the latest Eco-Fad for people that don’t have anything better to do than to punish everyone for the actions of a few. They are just a warm fuzzy feel good idea that’s completely ineffective. 

Most of the time I shop at Smiths I bring my own cloth bags since they are sturdy, carry more, and I get bonus rewards points for doing so.  However, I don’t keep any cloth bags in my truck for various reasons, so if I’m driving my truck I need the plastic or paper bags available at the store. Today I rode with a friend to Smiths to get some lunch. I don’t carry my cloth bags in my wallet, so used plastic provided by Smiths.

I re-use my grocery bags for many things. I’ve actually run out of bags at the house and had to intentionally leave my cloth bags in the car on the next shopping trip just so that I could obtain more. Plastic bags are likely the MOST re-purposed and reused product that people bring into their home! If there is a bag ban, I’ll just have to buy them from Amazon.

Littering is the real issue here, but are plastic bags really a problem in Los Alamos County? I just don’t see it. I’ve spent many hours hiking in and around Los Alamos County. I don’t see bags flying around, stuck in trees, or clogging up streams. What I do see is many beer cans and bottles.  

I suggest focusing on educating people about littering and encouraging more people to recycle. Remember the “Pitch In!” campaign in the 70’s? A step in the right direction is demonstrated by Smiths giving 5 Rewards points for each cloth bag used.

Here are some reasons that bag bans are wrong. More details can be found at stopthebagban.com.

  • Bag bans are based on lies, distortions, myths, and half-truths
  • Bag bans impose on the liberties and freedoms of businesses and citizens
  • The City Council would be deciding which conveniences are allowable and which are not
  • Almost everything we make is “bad for the environment”, so why just one type of bag? 
  • Bag bans do not take into account the multiple reuses of bags
  • Plastic bags are an insignificant portion of total waste
  • Bag bans have no measurement of success, no review, and no accountability
  • Cities are spending millions on bag bans
  • Bag bans increase the number of paper bags used, which are worse than plastic
  • No studies have ever shown that bag bans significantly improve the environment
  • A vocal minority is taking away the rights of the majority

I would like to encourage people to think this issue through and visit stopthebagban.com for a wealth of common sense information.

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