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Say it costs the chemical companies $1-$2 to produce 500 grocery bags, which I hate to say but that may be all it takes. Still, think how many grocery bags a large store uses, at least millions a year. Multiply that by the number of stores there are that use plastic bags, Walmart and all such stores included, and you can see why stopping the use of them could save quite a bit of oil as well as reduce a lot of landfill and unsightly litter.
If stores charged for the bags, to discourage their use, as many countries in Europe do, you'd better believe those pennies would add up to a hefty sum we'd be giving to Stop and Shop or whatever your local market is called. If the bags were also taxed a penny each, think of the revenue to the country! That I might go along with! Whichever you prefer, you'd pay someone, either the store, the country or both.
Even though we seem now to get the bags free, the stores do not, and what they pay for them is reflected back to us in the form of higher priced goods. We could pay less if we didn't demand free bag. So buy your string or net bags and carry them in the car at all times, or keep them near the door in your house, so that whenever you go shopping anywhere, you can bring a couple along and when the cashier starts putting your items in yet another plastic bag, you can tell her or him, "No bag please, I have my own."
Posted by pamwagg at January 6, 2007 03:29 PM
A minuscule step I know, and one that seems unlikely to make much of a dent in our problems, but just think what billions of bags NOT used would add up to. If we did this for many small problems, we could perhaps do as much in terms of conservation and reducing our hydrocarbon use as any large step. More later!