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Confronted with the bag ban

June 18th, 2013 by Steven Gardner

This L.A. Times story about Los Angeles preparing to ban plastic grocery bags reminded me of something else that reminded me of bag bans.

A couple of weeks ago I made an all-too-infrequent trip to Seattle and went by way of Bainbridge Island. I stopped at a grocery store, not saying which one for fear of the political ramifications, and bought just a couple of items I planned to consume quickly. The bagger asked if I wanted a bag. I considered it, but had forgotten that Bainbridge Island has a plastic bag ban and charges a nickel for the paper ones. I said “No, thanks,” because I didn’t need the bag, but it wasn’t until then that I noticed the bagger reaching for a paper bag. It seemed odd to me that there were no plastic bags around, and then the island’s legal reality dawned on me. It was the first time I had ever been confronted with a bag ban.

The second time was when I went to Seattle that same day. I bought some things, the checker put the items in a paper bag, then mentioned that she had forgotten to charge me for it. There wasn’t a whole lot of concern, because I was spending enough that the store was not going to miss that nickel. This was the Seattle bag ban.

Of course this is how life works. You go months without being confronted with something and then twice in one day it hits you. There is a Sizzler connection there, too. In the almost 11 years I have lived here I don’t recall ever going to Sizzler, but when I lived elsewhere I was kind of a frequent customer. I saw Steve Young in there once with one of the fiancees he had before he found the one he would end up marrying. My brother, with whom I had shared many a previous Sizzler experience, was in town this last week and we decided we’d go. It was Thursday, the day after the restaurant closed.

Neither circumstance — the bag ban or the Sizzler closure — was much of an inconvenience.

Does the bag ban bother you, or would you like to see more cities and counties pass restrictions on their use?

Dunagan posted this video three years ago, but I’m resurrecting it here. It makes a point, but manages to be hilarious in the process. Is there anything more dangerous than a Yorkie?

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4 Responses to “Confronted with the bag ban”

  1. Mick Sheldon Says:

    I wonder if Seattle will make it illegal for using plastic baggies for pot ? That of course would be an example of nanny government . ;0)

  2. Roger Gay Says:

    Plastic bags have handles which make it easier to carry heavier items. We use them and recycle them. I prefer not to pay for bags as I think most of the stores make enough on my purchases to cover a few bags, paper or plastic. My plan when, confronted with the choice, is to reduce my purchases to compensate for the paper bag cost or limit my purchases to what I can hand carry. Next will be a charge for the plastic bags for fruit and vegetables or the clear plastic over meat and other products. When will shopping cart rentals take affect?

  3. Beverly Savinski Says:

    I have been known to hand carry more than an armful to punish myself for forgetting my reusable bags. Nevertheless, I am slow to learn, and resort to reusing the small plastic bags in my bathroom trash cans. It does little to absolve my guilt, so I am an favor of bag bans. I have always taught my children to make habits that compensate for your shortcomings. This brings balance and success. Bag bans are a habit that compensates for our laziness and forgetfulness, so again… I am in favor.

  4. Kathryn Simpson Says:

    Some of us are old enough to remember when they were trying to ban paper bags in favor of the plastic bags.

    Life is a circle. Paper or Plastic? ;-)

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