Why do grocery stores still use plastic bags?

Although many folks bring their own canvas bags to the grocery store, most stores in my area still use plastic bags unless you specify otherwise. Why can’t they just require you to either use your own bag, buy a canvas bag, or use a (compostable) paper bag?



  1. 0 Votes

    In 2007, San Francisco passed a legislature that outlawed plastic bag usage at checkout for large grocery stores and pharmacies. Setting the first legal precedent of its kinds, San Francisco law makers addressed a concerning annual epidemic – distribution of nearly 180 million plastic bags that are difficult to recycle, take up landfill space, and endanger marine life. The legislation (passing 10-1) left compostable bags made of starch and paper bags made of recyclable paper as viable options for grocery packing. Appearing to be an impactful environmental legislature, it is difficult to say why other states don’t jump on board. Variation in harm to marine life (coastal vs. inland states), availability of substitute bag materials, lobbying, and perceived importance by law-makers – may all play a significant role.

  2. 0 Votes

    Many companies in states like Washington, California, and Oregon already charge customers for using plastic bags. Walmart intends to decrease its use of plastic bags by 2013. I think more companies will start to make efforts to reduce the use of plastic bags in the coming years. If you want to support the movement toward plastic-free shopping, the link at the bottom is to a Facebook fan page.

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