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The Plastic Bag Ban Again – Is it Practical? [POLL]

flikr user taberandrew
flikr user taberandrew

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the proposed bans on supermarket and retailer plastic bags…asking whether or not you thought it was practical.

My feeling is that it’s not, given the many uses we have for the ubiquitous bags…from picking up cat and dog waste to “brown bagging” our lunch…to God knows how many other things.

Well, it looks as if my warning is coming to pass, according to this:

The state legislature is weighing a number of bills limiting the use of plastic bags, including a proposal by Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex, Morris) that would impose a ban in 2017.

Some stores, like Whole Foods, have already banned plastic bags. The grocery chain, which operates three stores in Bergen County, hasn’t had plastic bags since 2006, Michael Sinatra, a spokesman for the company, said.

The store also offers 10-cent refunds to customers who use reusable bags.

Market Basket in Franklin Lakes once had bins for customers to bring back their plastic bags, but they were seldom used, Phil Silva, a manager at the store, said. Silva said Market Basket and other stores would likely pass the cost of a fee or ban on to customers.

“I don’t think it would have an adverse affect on the bottom line,” he said.

ShopRite has a bag reuse program as well, though Lorelai Mattise, director of government relations for parent company Wakefern Food Corp., said the chain had more success.

ShopRite customers reused more than 58 million bags in 2011, she said.

“We believe that educating the consumer about recycling opportunities is the best way to reduce plastic bag use and change behaviors,” Mattise said.

Initially my idea of putting a deposit on the bags made sense.

Collect enough bags, and the ones you don’t use, just bring back to the store to get your refund.

And besides, it would make great currency for the homeless.

So again, the question begs being asked…
Is a ban on plastic bags practical?

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