Saturday, May 19, 2012

Banning Plastic? Fact or Fiction

In my limited online travels this week I came across an article that screamed to be read. The fact that the entire state of Hawaii is banning the use of plastic bags at checkout counters is not only progress but its nothing short of amazing. As much as I want to believe that the fad of dragging in recycled reusable bags to the grocery store is far reaching and deep rooted, the truth is that it is not. On my home turf of Vermont, soccer moms and penny pinchers (like myself) alike, have used this technique for years. I assumed this was universal but quickly learned otherwise while residing in other areas of the country. Once I was even called a treehugger. Really, now?
The article states that Hawaii is the first-in-the-nation to attempt and success at such a feat. I wonder how well this process could happen in another state.  Say, a place where there are advocates against climate change and its effects. Hawaii is still trying to "collect more public input due to enforcement and cost concerns," but I imagine that since the effort has gotten this far it will stay favorable to consumers. Also the law gives businesses three years to adjust. With these considerations surely this will be successful.

I'll be the first to admit that it does bother me when someone buys one very small item and its bagged. Fact is that bag is most likely to end up in a landfill along with its packaging, which is another blog post. If a minimal effort is made at the individual level we would have no need for plastic. Bottom up all the way!  I'm guilty of getting a bag infrequently but I always feel bad after and make more efforts to bring reusables and try to make sure I reuse the bag as much as possible. The only way we can cut the plastic is by trying. I have to give a standing ovation to the state of Hawaii for standing up and making this a priority. I hope we don't have to wait too long before this catches on. The earth could surely use a break. (See photo)

Until next time

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