The New York Times came out with an article articulating the growing trend of more cities moving to proposed city bans and consumer awareness campaigns around plastic bags. Whenever I see articles like this in mainstream media, I can't help but feel like posting a gold star (or should I say green) for the green/sustainable movement.
It is a holistic article explaining all sides of the paper vs. plastic vs. biodegradable vs. reusable argument. I was all in a green glow until I got to the one quote from Barry F. Scher, a spokesman for Giant Food in Landover, MD
"Bags don't litter — people litter," he said. "There needs to be more citizen education."
The citizen education I agree with, but seriously, for corporate giants and the plastics industry to not take on some accountability is simply unacceptable. Whether driven by fear of having to acknowledge that we are all contributing to the problem (and thus having to committ corporate dollars to finding a solution), or complete ignorance, they are doing more harm than good IMHO. My guess (via the good human) they are scared and feeling guilty deep down inside:-)
It is easy for cynics of the green movement to turn the plastic issue into a political one and turn a blind eye and grasp for the argument of convenience. And I will be the first to agree that reusable bags are not the end all be all. There has to be a major shift in consumer behavior and frankly cuter, hipper, and more user friendly reusable bags (I mean no wonder more people aren't using those grocery canvas bags - how horrendous:-)
And for better or worse, plastic will always be a part of our lives. It is understandable that the plastic industry is doing whatever it can to sustain itself in the midst of this plastic backlash, but instead of grasping from fear and blame, perhaps embracing innovation and sustainability will better further their cause. In the meantime we can all do our part and that starts by simply using less. So if it is reusing/recycling your own plastic bags, or bucking up the $1.50 to try a reusable bag, try and take that first step and simply use less.
Check out the full article here.