Reusable Plastic Bags

ReusableLast year San Francisco passed a law that made the plastic bags commonly provided by supermarkets illegal. This was a huge step forward in a number of ways, including reduction of the amount of these bags that will end up in the landfills, but most importantly perhaps it will help reduce the number of these plastic bags that end up in the bay and ocean, where they can harm or kill wildlife that doesn’t know what a plastic bag is.

Yesterday though I went to a small supermarket in San Francisco, and found that they were still handing out plastic bags. To side step the law, they seem to have made the bags from a thicker plastic and printed the word ‘Reusable’ on them. As if that will change the behaviour of the people taking them home. The previous type of plastic bags were reusable too, and, like this bag, could be returned to the supermarket for recycling. So, this seems to be just a way to exploit a loophole in a law that was intended to improve our environment. Hopefully, somebody will find a way to close this loophole, and force supermarkets like this one to use only bio-degradable bags, preferably paper ones.

If the paper ones cost more (as a sign in the supermarket suggested), then why not charge customers for them? That might encourage the use of truly reusable bags.

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