Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Plastic Bag Ban

Finally, the City of Portland, Oregon has officially banned plastic bags in groceries and major retailers with pharmacies.  I have been waiting for such an ordinance for quite a while, and as of October 15, 2011, plastic bags won't be allowed in stores (with exceptions for meat and bulk items).  This new law seems too good to be true, but I really hope retailers charge more for the paper bags because they do cost more to purchase and paper bags have a larger carbon footprint than plastic bags.  I don't think I need to elaborate on why mandating reusable bags is important.  By now we should all know the effects plastic bags have on our oceans and the obvious fact that plastic is made from oil.  For more information about plastics and its effects on ocean life, go here!



I have been following the Ban the Bag for months now and I am disappointed how close-minded some people are.  Blogs and newspaper editorials complain that the lack of plastic bags will leave a person in complete turmoil when picking up their dog's poop, lining their trash can, or transporting their wet swimsuit. C'mon on, really?  I finally ran out of single use plastic bags from the grocery store after 10 years of using cloth bags.  I use the plastic bags from toilet paper for trash cans and cereal bags for kitty litter.  When you look around, you will see single use bags everywhere besides at the grocery check out.  Think chip bags, newspaper bags, shipping bags, etc.  I am very excited about this new law and hope that the mass majority will jump on the bandwagon of using cloth bags rather than the paper alternative at the check stands.  If anything, a few soggy broken paper bags from carrying ice cream and butter will convince shoppers that cloth is much more durable.

Here are few news articles and videos about the new law:
http://www.kgw.com/news/local/Portland-plastic-bag-ban--131667593.html
http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2011/07/portland_adopts_ban_on_plastic.html
http://www.nwcn.com/home/?fId=131926688&fPath=/news/local&fDomain=10202
http://www.katu.com/news/local/125989558.html

2 comments :

jenn merfee-t November 7, 2011 at 10:41 PM  

I've also been waiting for this bag ban and hope other counties follow in Multnomah County's steps. There is nothing like a cloth bag for all the activities in our daily lives. We use ours for bulk items at the market, lunch sandwiches, snacks, purchasing at every store, and even for collecting wet autumn leaves for art projects. We give cloth bags with photos and art as gifts. (We love taking our own glassware for restaurant take out too.)

I've been hearing a lot about the county's new yard debris pick up that can now include all food compost and waxed papers. I'd love to read about the details of this on your blog sometime.

Anonymous December 2, 2011 at 1:06 PM  

Is it not close-minded to assume that people against this ban are close-minded? Perhaps they have reasons for being against it? Have you truly been open to hearing them? If you have, kudos to you. However, I see and hear a lot of smug uber-environmentalists shaming others for being slow to adapt to these new laws rather than taking the time to rationally (and in an non-condescending way)explain the reasoning behind them.

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A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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