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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Plastic bag ban bums some buyers out

Julianna Eveland
Julianna Eveland

Chico does a commendable job of being an environmentally-friendly town.

So good in fact, the plastic bag ban, which is meant to come into place throughout California in July 2015, might be pushed through Chico City Council prior to the mandatory ban date.

I’m all for saving the planet, but a statewide plastic bag ban will forever impact my shopping habits.

The point of the ban is to encourage grocery shoppers to bring their own reusable bags.

If, however, shoppers absentmindedly leave their reusable bags at home, grocery stores can provide them with a paper bag for a toll of 10 cents per bag.

That way, if someone fails to remember their duty to save the planet, they won’t have to carry their kale, spinach, organic fruits and other groceries back to the car one at a time.

But I see some flaws in these new plastic bag regulations.

The first comes at my own inconvenience, because I do reuse plastic grocery bags.

I place them in my trash cans to save money as miniature waste bin bags.

I use them to put workout shoes in my backpack to keep my notebooks from getting dirty. I even use them as lunch bags to bring food to school.

I might not remember to bring plastic bags back to the grocery store, but I always save them each time I go shopping because I know they will come in use later.

I know other people who also find convenient uses for these plastic bags too. Most use them as trash bags. Of course, the problem is that just because some people reuse their bags, does not mean everyone does.

I wonder if plastic bags will become a coveted commodity when the ban goes through. If so, I’m stocking up now.

Another flaw in the plastic bag regulation is the 10 cent fee for forgetting reusable bags.

Although people might consider a dime to be insignificant compared to the price you pay for a polluted planet, honestly, people are resistant to change.

How much of an impact will banning plastic bags be when other major stores with gross annual sales in the millions, like Costco, have plastic packaging so thick getting into your purchase is as much work as hacking your way through a jungle with a machete?

I think Chico pushing regulations on plastic bags at this early of a stage won’t have nearly the impact it’s expected to.

Even if it becomes a statewide regulation in 2015, at least I have another year to collect my fair share of plastic bags before they become unheard of.

Julianna Eveland can be reached at [email protected] or @janeca12 on Twitter.

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