Should We Ban Plastic Bags at Grocery Stores? One State is Considering It

Is it time for plastic bags to go to protect the environment?

(Patch file photo)
(Patch file photo)
By Jason Claffey and Brian Slupski

Should we ban plastic bags from being used?

Rhode Island lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban the use of plastic bags at grocery stores and retail shops, the Associated Press reported.

"We have to stop polluting our air, our water and our land," Sen. Frank Lombardo told a Senate committee, according to the AP. "Is banning plastic bags a fix-all or a cure-all? No. But it's another piece of the puzzle in helping the earth heal itself."

The goal of such measures is to encourage people to use reusable bags brought from home, the Chicago Sun-Times noted in an editorial. For example, San Francisco banned plastic bags in 2007, but then had to add a paper bag fee in 2012. Los Angeles and 100 other local California governments ban the use of plastic bags.

The New York City Council isn't considering a ban, but they are considering a 10-cent fee for all disposable plastic and paper bags, Washington Square News reported. New York would follow Washington, D.C. which already imposes such a fee on plastic bags.

What do you think? Should we get rid of plastic bags to protect the environment?
Aly April 07, 2014 at 02:30 PM
I agree with Leigh. Only a small percentage of us recycle/reuse the plastic bags. I think charging people for plastic bags is a great incentive to bring your own from home and protect the environment. I see them everywhere on trees, one even got stuck on the exhaust on the bottom of my car and the plastic fumed into my car for months. I have a ton of canvas bags. I will give you some if you need them!
Gary April 07, 2014 at 03:13 PM
I like the idea of using netting of some kind. Something biodegradable. Plastics are indispensable, but big oil needs to be scaled back somehow.
Van Miller April 07, 2014 at 04:09 PM
Yes, I'm in favor of a ban on plastic bags. They don't use them in Europe. I see too many of them lying around the streets, valleys, rivers, streams and woodlands. We try to use cotton bags as often as we can in our household. Once you're used to it, they are actually easier and more convenient.
Charles April 07, 2014 at 06:18 PM
Yes...without question and by the way, it's about time! We need to use cloth bags to bring our groceries home. Stop the waste and stop trashing our communities. The problem is easily solved if stores, markets and large food chains simply stop supplying the bags. Think of the cost they will save! If you want to make it law, make it a law but lawmakers SHOULD be more concerned with other, more complicated issues. The answer is, STOP PROVIDING THE BAGS! In a short time, small entrepreneurs will open stores offering all shapes, sizes and colors of cotton, bio-degradable bags. It's a win-win for everyone...reduced trash and litter, financial savings for the existing stores and new possibilities for the small business owner. I often wonder where and when Americans stopped using common sense and decided that government should deal with all the problems!
R. April 08, 2014 at 08:58 PM
NO, we constantly recycle and re-use thes plastic bags. Sounds like another California idea pushing their policies! We use them for EVERYTHING!


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