Friday, February 28, 2014

Santa Fe Plastic Bag ban

Yesterday a plastic bag ban went into effect in Santa Fe, to:  “protect, conserve and enhance the city's natural beauty.” I think they are trying to say that if we get plastic grocery bags, we will litter but without these bags we will throw our trash away? Um, yeah. Right. What this ban did for me was to get me reminiscing. 

As I paid for my purchases at WalMart, I received all paper bags (which was great because I needed more for my paper recycling at home.) The cashier was too young to remember the days of my childhood when we only had paper bags. Plastic grocery bags became the norm in the mid-1980s. Before that, we didn’t know what we were missing. Paper bags were so useful! We used them for our kitchen trash can liner (which really amazes me because my kitchen trash is often wet and would ruin the bag). Covering school books? Hello? That was the best part of a new school year. I loved cutting open those bags and making a book cover to then decorate to my heart’s content. My kids don’t even have to cover their books these days.  It’s a lost art. And can you imagine Pig Pen with a plastic bag over his head? Not gonna happen.

On the other hand, plastic grocery bags have become such a staple in today’s world. Bathroom trash can liners. Messy diaper disposal. Wet clothes receptacle on car trips. Quick bag to carry an armload of stuff to the car. Lunch bag. And our (unfortunately) biggest use of these bags seems to be for lining our throw up buckets. We have a few of them. And they get used. Have you seen the Studio C sketch where the guy carries about 20 bags of groceries at once? Yeah. I had 3 paper bags to bring in today and I could hardly manage it. WalMart paper bags don’t have handles and even when the bags do have handles, they aren’t useful unless you have a bag full of cotton balls. I always try to get a carload of groceries into the house in one shot.  Just load me up with those plastic bags full of food and I can totally do it. And I can get the house unlocked without putting down a bag. 

I wonder how long this ban will last? I wonder if my nostalgia will wear off and I will miss those darn plastic bags that frankly I always have way too many off. Maybe I’ll sell the ones I have stashed on the black market. ;) I actually usually use and prefer my reusable bags, but I will miss the plastic ones eventually. At least it isn’t a nationwide ban and I can always hop in my car and drive 45 minutes to get my fix elsewhere, if I start going through withdrawals. 

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