My neighborhood of West Hollywood implemented a ban on plastic bags while I was in Maui (who, by the way, implemented a plastic ban on the island back in 2011). While I love the ban on Maui — keeps plastic bags from floating into the very nearby ocean and killing ocean wildlife — I HATE having it in West Hollywood.
I always re-use the plastic bags that I get my neighborhood Ralph’s to line all my small trashcans in the living room, bedroom, and bathrooms. Once the trashcan is full, I lift out the plastic bag, tie it off, and toss it. I also re-use them to clean the litter box. And I can use them for picking up dog poop.
Because they’re such an integral pat of my waste-management system, I was even willing to pay the extra few cents to keep using Ralph’s plastic bags. Only to discover, the other day, that they switched to these even thicker and larger plastic bags that I’d NEVER be able to re-use. They’re too big to be portable, too tall for my trashcans, and to thick to be tied around dog leashes. I’m not sure I’m getting the logic in switching thinner, more useful plastic bags, with thicker less-useful plastic.
At least, I thought Trader Joe’s — the only other place I shop every week — still has the paper bags that I use as my recycling bins. Once the paper bag gets full of paper, plastic, and cans I dump ‘em in our buildings’ recycling containers and use a fresh bag. But no! THEY’RE now 10 cents as well! What the what!?
I get a plastic bag ban, but a PAPER BAG BAN? That doesn’t make any sense. They didn’t ban paper bags in Maui when they did away with plastic. And paper is totally recyclable. So what the hell, WeHo. You just made it WAY harder for me to re-use and recycle.
Yes, I’m totally just bitching, here. I’m being a baby and having a fit. I am glad that this is a step in the right direction environmentally, but it’s having a negative impact on my individual household. I at least can hoard plastic bags from other towns, and maybe even buy fancy ones on Amazon if need be. But since I’ve stopped bringing back paper bags from Traders, we’ve stopped recycling completely. Which is a total bummer.
The only good that’s come of it, is that I get to break out my favorite canvas bag more often:
Anyone want to help me out and collect plastic and paper bags for me? Anyone else have any other insights into these changes that I don’t understand: Switching thinner smaller paper bags for larger thicker ones, and a ban on paper bags? Or did YOUR town do a plastic bag ban? Are you used to it by now, or does it still fuck up your flow?