Slog

Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drunks

Sunday, July 1, 2012

City's Ban on Plastic Bags Begins Today

Posted by on Sun, Jul 1, 2012 at 1:32 PM

A Safeway truck pulled up next to a retirement home a few minutes ago packed with racks and racks of groceries... in paper bags.

safeway_delivery.jpg
  • DH

The friendly delivery man, who wasn't speaking on behalf of Safeway, said that all the groceries used to come in plastic bags until today, when the Seattle bag ban took affect. "I don't know how people are going to like it—it's not going to work when it rains," he said. Paper bags disintegrate when they're wet—one bag had already fallen apart on him because some milk made the bag soggy—so he thinks the bags left outside will fall apart. "People are going to be pissed," he said.

The solution? "We have to steal Amazon's style," he said, referring to the AmazonFresh bins that don't fall apart in the rain and can be used over and over again. Sounds like a plan.

 

Comments (118) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Baconcat 1
"There's something wrong with voters in your city. You didn't vote for this did you?" a guy asked me.

"Well, voters turned down a fee on bags but Ban opponents couldn't get enough signatures to put this straight up ban on the ballot. Most folks polled support a ban and so do a couple of grocery chains. It'll be fine."

"I hope voters revolt." the guy said.

He was less heinous than the dingdongs at bagtheban.com, at least.
Posted by Baconcat on July 1, 2012 at 1:43 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 2

Plastic bags are banned.

Of course you all allowed to transport tons of coal in open hopper cars which can spew dust into your children's lungs.

By the way...reusuable bags have been known to act as hosts for flesh eating bacteria.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on July 1, 2012 at 1:50 PM · Report this
Baconcat 3
@2: "have been known to act as hosts for flesh eating bacteria"

LOL, oh dear. Not so much.
Posted by Baconcat on July 1, 2012 at 2:08 PM · Report this
4
@ 2 - Hysteria, much? The bacteria responsible for necrotizing fasciitis are everywhere. Don't be such an idiot.
Posted by Mike in Olympia on July 1, 2012 at 2:12 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 5
When did plastic bags come on the scene? The early 80's? And before that we survived with paper bags. The hype about losing the plastic bags is bizarre to say the least
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on July 1, 2012 at 2:17 PM · Report this
watchout5 6
@2 works for the plastic industry, doubt the science cigarettes can't be bad for you

I support this ban to no end, if someone wants to revolt over it I hope we don't find each other in the trenches of said violent revolution because I won't take you seriously and it seems like you take yourself way too seriously. I would have a hard time thanking the guy who's final straw was not being able to get for free plastic bags for giving me that freedom, you do know this same government kills women and children for little reason right? I can only feel sorry for you and everyone you know if plastic bags are more important than other humans. I don't want to live on that planet.
Posted by watchout5 http://www.overclockeddrama.com on July 1, 2012 at 2:19 PM · Report this
7
I'd be pissed if milk leaked all over my groceries regardless of the bag they were in. How about not selling leaky milk Safeway?
Posted by giffy on July 1, 2012 at 2:23 PM · Report this
8
When plastic bags are outlawed, only outlaws will have plastic bags.
Posted by DisorganizedReligion on July 1, 2012 at 2:40 PM · Report this
9
@2 - you are a never ending stream of bullshit.
Posted by Clarence Espizito on July 1, 2012 at 2:42 PM · Report this
10
Friendly Delivery Man thinks we can somehow adapt to change? He must not be from around here.
Posted by mollman on July 1, 2012 at 2:47 PM · Report this
11
Gotta start buying plastic garbage bags now! Hooray!
Posted by ughhgghghghgh on July 1, 2012 at 2:53 PM · Report this
Zebes 12
GERMANY 1934
Posted by Zebes http://www.badrap.org/rescue/index.html on July 1, 2012 at 2:55 PM · Report this
13
@ 5 As someone in the 20s who has always had plastic bags, I like them they are easy to deal with, paper bags are a pain in the arse. This is government being where they don't belong (like they used to be in liquor sales). This is what happens when you elect a hippy ideologue into the mayor's office. He needs to go and we need as pragmatist in his place.
Posted by Seattle14 on July 1, 2012 at 2:57 PM · Report this
Fnarf 14
@5, plastic bags came on the scene because they WORK BETTER. There was civilization before electricity and dental care too but that doesn't mean it would be a good idea to go back to those times.

Now that bags are banned and we live in an ecological paradise, I wonder if anyone's going to notice that that decrease in plastics in the waste stream is...er...oh dear...pretty much zero. Maybe we can get together and chat about it over plastic bottles of water sometime.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on July 1, 2012 at 3:06 PM · Report this
Last of the Time Lords 15
@13, and what are you gonna do about it? Bitch on the internet? Yeah...that's what we thought. So if we want something out of your trap we'll slap it out of you kid
Posted by Last of the Time Lords on July 1, 2012 at 3:07 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 16
I do wonder what would happen to some of the people in this town if something actually bad we're to occur. What a bunch of overwrought ninnies.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on July 1, 2012 at 3:09 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 17
Were, not we're. Foolish of me not to check the spellcheck.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on July 1, 2012 at 3:10 PM · Report this
Last of the Time Lords 18
@16 complain loudly about the inconvenience.
Posted by Last of the Time Lords on July 1, 2012 at 3:18 PM · Report this
Unregistered User 19
Take effect!

:-p
Posted by Unregistered User on July 1, 2012 at 3:23 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 20
Shouldn't Sarah Palin be screaming "Freedom Dies!" Common, please, somebody come up wih biodegradable bags.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on July 1, 2012 at 3:36 PM · Report this
COMTE 21
@20:

They already exist, and you can buy several brands in your local grocery store. Currently, they're used primarily for kitchen compost, as they can then be deposited directly into yard waste bins for disposal. They do have the downside, that when they become wet they start to decompose rater quickly (part of the design), and they're slightly more pervious to punctures than plastic grocery bags.
Posted by COMTE http://www.chriscomte.com on July 1, 2012 at 3:55 PM · Report this
Sam Levine 22
I like plastic bags. If you don't like plastic bags, fuck you, I'm still going to use precisely the same number of plastic bags I did before the ban.

I use the bags I get at stores as garbage bags. Every single one. This isn't because I'm cheap, it's just a matter of convenience to reuse the ones I get from grocery stores and the like. I can and will pay for plastic garbage bags, and there will still be *the exact same amount* of plastic going into landfills.
Posted by Sam Levine http://levinetech.net on July 1, 2012 at 4:09 PM · Report this
Last of the Time Lords 23
@22, you know that THERE ARE NO PLASTIC BAGS IN SEATTLE AS OF TODAY OFFERED BY STORES? Just wondering, and the $.05 charge is for paper bags.
Posted by Last of the Time Lords on July 1, 2012 at 4:15 PM · Report this
Sam Levine 24
@23 they didn't ban garbage bags:

http://www.seattle.gov/council/obrien/at…

tl;dr themoaryouknow.gif
Posted by Sam Levine http://levinetech.net on July 1, 2012 at 4:43 PM · Report this
25
i predict that we'll see more dog shit on sidewalks and yards now due to the ban on plastic bags.
Posted by apres_moi on July 1, 2012 at 4:50 PM · Report this
COMTE 26
@24:

So, it's your plan to walk around with a 30 gallon black Hefty bag in which to carry your groceries? In that case, please remember to also wear a sign that says, "NOT HOMELESS" around your neck so I don't accidentally try to give you any spare change.
Posted by COMTE http://www.chriscomte.com on July 1, 2012 at 4:51 PM · Report this
27
@21 Biodegradable bags are also outlawed. I work for a bookstore, and we looked into it, books and rain being not so friendly. But then, the only solution for keeping books dry, I hear, is to stop buying print books and order ebooks solely from Amazon. Not a solution I embrace but I'm told I'm in the buggy-whip business anyway.
Posted by FranFW on July 1, 2012 at 5:14 PM · Report this
Spritz 28
@22/24, I'm with you - I use every single plastic bag I have to line my smaller trash bins and dispose of animal waste. It was much cheaper than buying doggie bags or small kitchen bags, and instead I only purchase the biodegradable plastic bags for kitchen waste. Now I'm going to have the use my stash of bags as slowly as humanly possible.

And who's to say we can't recycle those plastic bags we USED to get for free? After putting away the groceries, just ball 'em up and throw 'em in the recycling bin. DUH.
Posted by Spritz http://millidominoelectricspritz.blogspot.com on July 1, 2012 at 5:21 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 29
@27 You could always hope for a solar storm so enormous it knocks out power all over the world for years. But then you'll be left to write books by hand or find an ancient hand press. (scientists say it will quite possibly happen).
Posted by Pope Peabrain on July 1, 2012 at 5:24 PM · Report this
30
@27 I could, I suppose, and I do know how to make paper and ink, but my plan is actually more insidious.

I'm going to teach children that, while there is a time and place for e-books, printed books have value too and should be treasured. I like the solar storm idea, but I like mine better. For now, anyway!
Posted by FranFW on July 1, 2012 at 5:50 PM · Report this
Gern Blanston 31
It will be nice not to ever have to hear the phrase "Plastic all right for ya?" again.
Posted by Gern Blanston on July 1, 2012 at 5:55 PM · Report this
raku 32
This is why I love the nanny state government banning things. Commenters here prove people just will not change their destructive behavior unless the government steps in.

You should have stopped using plastic bags 5-10 years ago when reusable bags popped up everywhere and everyone told you how bad plastic bags were. You didn't, so you get a ban. Next up, poison soda and torture meat.
Posted by raku on July 1, 2012 at 5:59 PM · Report this
33
A tip for you Seattle folks: reusable bags of the fabric sort can be tossed in the washing machine now and then, and hung on doorknobs to dry. Soap kills flesh-eating bacteria, although then you lack that yummy flesh-eating bacteria taste on your table grapes.
Posted by Alice Dreger http://www.alicedreger.com on July 1, 2012 at 5:59 PM · Report this
34
Funny thing is that the plastic bags were originally introduced as being environmentally friendly - their purpose was to save trees. No, I'm not making that up.
Posted by martin7341 on July 1, 2012 at 6:13 PM · Report this
35
The ban will increase automobile usage. Most walkers, bikers, and mass transit users aren't going to carry bulky canvas or nylon bags with them everywhere they go, so they're going to go right past the grocery store on the way home, hop in their two ton car, and burn the equivalent of 500 plastic bags in fuel to do the shopping with their environmentally-friendly reusable bags.
Posted by dansan on July 1, 2012 at 6:34 PM · Report this
36
@35, that's just silly. I live in the land of no-ban and I got myself a great set of panniers for my bike for going grocery shopping. They're waterproof and hold a ton. It's not hard to bike with them full. Of course, I live where it is flat, so braking isn't quite the issue it might be in Seattle with full panniers.
Posted by Alice Dreger http://www.alicedreger.com on July 1, 2012 at 6:46 PM · Report this
care bear 37
I have a giant plastic bag full of smaller plastic bags I've got from grocery shopping. Seriously, this thing is stuffed. I've been meaning to recycle them for the last 6 months or so. I will sell them to all of you bag ban haters.
Posted by care bear on July 1, 2012 at 6:53 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 38
You should have stopped using plastic bags 5-10 years ago when reusable bags popped up everywhere and everyone told you how bad plastic bags were. You didn't, so you get a ban. Next up, poison soda and torture meat.
Yet cigarettes and alcohol are still unhealthy and in no danger of disappearing, and it's rather likely pot will be legalized at some point soon.

So, we're not responsible enough to know whether we're drinking too much soda but we're totally capable of using marijuana responsibly?

Right.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on July 1, 2012 at 7:00 PM · Report this
crap bag 39
@32 - yes.
Posted by crap bag on July 1, 2012 at 7:02 PM · Report this
internet_jen 40
@38 You might be conflating "unhealthy" with "bad for the environment". Post-smoking ban cigs are mostly a self harm thing. Non-smokers and smokers alike use plastic bags. Once cigarette filters move up to being a large consumer pollution stream then maybe a ban on cigs for environmental reasons. Same thing for alcohol containers.
Posted by internet_jen on July 1, 2012 at 7:09 PM · Report this
41
@36, And how much does that cost? I just went to Amazon, and a decent rear bike rack is around $30, some good panniers are around $50, and if you're not mechanically inclined you might spend $50 for installation. So this ban just added $130 in cost to a bicycle commuter, assuming he even has the money. Most walkers and mass transit riders aren't going to carry big bags around everywhere. At the very least, this law should have applied only to those travelling by car, for whom the restriction is much less onerous.
Posted by dansan on July 1, 2012 at 7:11 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 42
I predict that the Seattle bag ban will contribute at least five degrees to the average temperature of the Earth by 2013, and will cause Seattle to be the new Venice by 2014!!!

(OK, i admit it. I just want to be caught up in the hysteria)
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on July 1, 2012 at 7:13 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 43
@40,
Well, if it were for environmental reasons, then they should just ban the filters, not the whole cigarette. So only unfiltered cigs would be legal.

But I was mostly harping on the "poison soda and torture meat" hyperbole. Those are both personal rather than environmental issues too. Same with pot.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on July 1, 2012 at 7:22 PM · Report this
raku 44
#38- There's a big difference between drugs, especially plants, and easily replaced manufactured products. It's all about pragmatism. Bans on marijuana or alcohol don't work. Bans on products like free plastic bags, foie gras, battery cages, horse meat, lead paint, or asbestos do work, and nobody cares a couple years after the ban goes into place.
Posted by raku on July 1, 2012 at 7:29 PM · Report this
carriemcc 45
@7 The milk probably made the bag soggy because of condensation on the bottles, not because the milk itself was leaking.
Posted by carriemcc on July 1, 2012 at 7:42 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 46
@44,
So what is the easy replacement for soda? I drink diet soda myself, so banning regular wouldn't affect me, but you think everyone else will suddenly switch and "forget about it?"

And "torture meat" is just horse meat? Why didn't you call it that in the first place?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on July 1, 2012 at 7:50 PM · Report this
Fnarf 47
Tip: search for "t shirt bag" on Amazon. A thousand for about $20. We're all set, since retail stores are letting their employees sneak home with all their no-longer-legal excess bags.

http://www.amazon.com/1000ct-Eagle-Plast…
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on July 1, 2012 at 8:06 PM · Report this
Baconcat 48
Plastic bags are better? Hardly. Why do you always need two of them for most standard purchases at the grocery store? Yeah, go check. There's probably two plastic bags per bundle. Sometimes 3. They weren't introduced as a matter of convenience, they were introduced because petroleum companies said "hey, save the trees with these sturdy and reusable bags!"

At the time nobody recognized that these bags actually were worse as a matter of basic chemical principle. Petroleum, some minor carcinogens and other nasty nasties. They are still acceptable because these people have lots of money, they can afford to turn the cogs on the PR machine. You remember the bag referendum, right?

These things you supposedly "need", for garbage, for cat shit, for whatever, is really just a forced commodity. If you're a lefyt or an Occupy type that withers about big oil this or multinationals that you should go and check your bags. Congrats, you prop up petroleum companies. HOORAY!

Now, as to reusable bags why is everyone hooting about the risk of germs? Yes, if you use something more than once you need to wash it. It doesn't matter if you use it a little or not, you ought to follow the same principle as you use with your underwear, which, as a matter of fact, harbor worse germs than bags.

Just as plastic bags were a convenient alternative that allowed us to stop killing so many trees, reusable bags are a convenient alternative that allows us to stop hurling millions of bags into landfills. Folks got over the transition to plastic bags, I'm sure you'll get over the transition to reusable bags.
Posted by Baconcat on July 1, 2012 at 8:08 PM · Report this
49
I am one of those people who uses shopping bags as garbage bags, and thus don't feel too bad about asking for "plastic". But this discussion just inspired me to look up biodegradable trash bags. On Amazon, "Green Legacy" brand bags go for $8.96 for 60 (13 gallon size). That is 15 cents each, not counting tax and shipping, which is fairly reasonable. If you order 3, it's free shipping.

Note: Please be advised that this post has no (conscious) ironic content or negative intent.

http://www.amazon.com/Green-Legacy-Eco-F…

Posted by Jude Fawley on July 1, 2012 at 8:13 PM · Report this
Baconcat 50
And for the record it isn't just about banning plastic bags -- this ban didn't happen in a vacuum. It's not a silver bullet nor was it ever intended to be. It was supposed to work in concert with a large variety of waste reduction campaigns like, oh, Seattle's recycling program and its 55% rate, schools banning bottled water, companies changing their packaging and so on. It is far from this isolated nanny statism that people insist it is. It's pretty universal at this point.

It's the weakest of logical fallacies to insist that this is a meaningless gesture. It's not. In fact, it takes very little effort to expand into the bigger picture. But if it helps your weak narrative, whatever.
Posted by Baconcat on July 1, 2012 at 8:15 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 51
Public health researchers identified food stored inside a reusable grocery bag or the bag itself as the source of a 2010 norovirus outbreak that sickened seven children and adults from Oregon who attended a soccer tournament in neighboring Washington state.


http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on July 1, 2012 at 8:17 PM · Report this
52
Hm, I posted my amazon link before I saw Fnarf's amazon link.
Posted by Jude Fawley on July 1, 2012 at 8:17 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 53
A study done in 2009 by Dr. Richard Summerbell, research director at Toronto based Sporometrics, uncovered that many bags have bacteria, mold, yeast and even some more disgusting stuff in them.

And those unwelcome bag bugs can cause some very unpleasant things.

The first risk is food poisoning, but other issues include skin infections like boils, allergic reactions, asthma attacks and even ear infections.


http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/15…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on July 1, 2012 at 8:18 PM · Report this
54
BREAKING NEWS: Today Seattle's ban on plastic bags goes into effect. IN RELATED NEWS: Seattleā€™s ban on cops beating Black, Latino & Native People has yet to muster enough community outrage and therefore will not go into effect. #TellinTheTruthToShameTheCity
Posted by A Colored Sissy on July 1, 2012 at 8:21 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 55
#50

Isn't WA state also the headquarters of Weyerhauser?

Gee...it is all for "our benefit"...right??
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on July 1, 2012 at 8:22 PM · Report this
Baconcat 56
Bailo, do you wash your gym bag with any regularity? Your toothbrush? Have you ever taken a sip from a glass that has been sitting out for hours or days? Do you scrub every doorknob? Refrigerator handle? Lunch bags? Do you ever reuse mugs?

How many thousands of people use reusable bags a day? How many of them get ill?

Actual legitimate science is actually a better idea than selective hysteria.

But, yanno, whatever helps your narrative :)
Posted by Baconcat on July 1, 2012 at 8:25 PM · Report this
Ba of O 57
#32, Are you sure it was the state, not the city, that enacted the ban? I am still seeing plenty of plastic bags down here in Olympia.
Posted by Ba of O on July 1, 2012 at 8:26 PM · Report this
58
@ various comments... As far as the environment goes, it's a tricky question, the line between "making a difference" and feeling like you are "making a difference" so you can not worry about the bigger picture. Yes, recycling is good. No, it won't impact the course we are on.

The book "50 simple things you can do to save the planet" was my first taste of environmentalism back in 1988 when I was about 8, and looking back, it feels like it was a distraction from the structural issues that maintain unsustainability. I still feel guilty when I drive, even though I know that whether or not I drive will not impact anything - that politics and economics are the real determining forces in "saving the environment" (and I don't just mean policies banning plastic bags).

Damn you, 50 simple things, for making me think that saving the world was a matter of personal consumption!
Posted by Jude Fawley on July 1, 2012 at 8:27 PM · Report this
Baconcat 59
@55: That must explain the charge on paper bags, right?
Posted by Baconcat on July 1, 2012 at 8:31 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 60
#57

It is just Seattle.

Thank God I can still get a plastic norovirus free bag here in Kent.

Of course Chargergate scoundrel Dow Corningware might extend his reach into the county.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on July 1, 2012 at 8:32 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 61
#56

Simple difference.

I don't store Bibb lettuce on my doorknob.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on July 1, 2012 at 8:33 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 62

Tomorrow in Pasco

Zero chance of rain
88
Partly cloudy

http://www.weather.com/weather/tomorrow/…

That's tonights Pascocast...brought to you by the makers of plastic shopping bags.

If you value your limbs...please say Plastic! at the checkout line...and avoid disaster...
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on July 1, 2012 at 8:42 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 63
Bailo... you lost yet again on Slog. Deal with it. Preferrably by, oh, NOT POSTING ON SLOG.

@41, or 40, or whoever posted about the expense and effort of installing bike panniers: Who commutes by bike and *doesn't* have a set of panniers? Who owns a bicycle and is yet so inept they can't even install a fricken rack? If that person exists, now is the perfect time for that person to nut up and learn how to turn a wrench. Sheesh.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on July 1, 2012 at 9:23 PM · Report this
DOUG. 64
Use these bags. They're great.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on July 1, 2012 at 9:36 PM · Report this
seatackled 65
I'm only going to let my dogs shit once a week now.
Posted by seatackled on July 1, 2012 at 9:37 PM · Report this
Fnarf 66
@48, plastic bags ARE better. If you've ever tried to carry a dozen bags of groceries a mile home from the store, you'd know that it's just not possible with paper. Especially if it's raining. The plastic bags will cut into your hands, yes, but at least you'll get them home.

@50, yes, it's part of a bigger picture -- an inconsequential part, of a bigger picture that's never going to happen. As with most things having to do with the environment, banning bags amounts to a 0.000001% reduction in plastic -- while every minute of the day results in an INCREASE in the use of plastic. More plastic was used in Seattle today, even accounting for the bag ban, than the day before -- I guarantee it.

I liken banning bags to a guy who's three months behind on his mortgage walking around the neighborhood looking for dropped coins.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on July 1, 2012 at 9:44 PM · Report this
67
Several miles upstream, someone said that biodegradable bags are banned also. Not really, I hope. Those are what we're supposed to use in those green dumpsters we put garden/food waste into. You can't exactly carry food waste out to the street in paper bags.
Posted by sarah70 on July 1, 2012 at 9:45 PM · Report this
68
@66: a DOZEN bags of groceriies a MILE home from the store??? Huzza huzza, you are quite tne MAN!
A few years ago I asked my husband to do the same thing only with reusable bags, then cooked him up a delicious dinner. He died from food poisining two days later.
Keep this in mind ladies, especially if he has good life insurance!
Posted by crone on July 1, 2012 at 10:14 PM · Report this
69
Take out food is still permitted to be carried in plastic bags, but according to the flyer I got from the City, biodegradable bags are, in fact, banned.
Posted by FranFW on July 1, 2012 at 10:29 PM · Report this
doloresdaphne 70
Once you commit to not using plastic bags, you figure out how to change your routine, and it becomes second nature.

My routine;
1. I always budget/ career plan to ensure I can afford to live within cycling distance of a grocery / fruit and veg store
2. I budget etc to always have a decent bike with two big baskets or waterproof panniers.
3. I carry several nylon reusable bags wherever I go, (they fold up small); http://fourcarats.blogspot.com.au/2011/0…
4. I have a large plastic bag on hand for covering up the stuff in my baskets in case it rains.
5. If I'm doing a big shop, i bring a backpack.

Easy peasy. And once I get too old and rickety to cycle, I'll take a shopping cart on the bus with me.

It's not that difficult.

Posted by doloresdaphne on July 1, 2012 at 10:33 PM · Report this
seatackled 71
I made it home in the rain last week with milk in a paper bag and my trip was much more than a mile, though I suppose all but 10 or so blocks was not on a bus and I had an umbrella anyway. The bag got wet, but held up and is in good enough shape to be reused..
Posted by seatackled on July 1, 2012 at 10:33 PM · Report this
72
@66, you mustn't try to interrupt us admiring the emperor's new clothes.
Posted by gloomy gus on July 1, 2012 at 10:56 PM · Report this
73
No offense, @66, but you have long admitted you drive to the grocery store 99% of the time, and you have no clue what you're talking about.

I walk to and from various grocery stores 100% of the time, all year, in all weather. It takes a squall of epic proportions to undermine the structural integrity of a Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, or Ballard Market paper bag. QFC bags fare slightly less well due to the lousy glue; the paper is fine. Safeway bags are worthless. (If Safeway starts buying decent recycled-paper bags, this ordinance will already have served a worthy purpose.)

Paper bags win out over plastic because they're 4-6 times larger, so your "dozen bags" worth of groceries will probably fit in two.
Posted by d.p. on July 2, 2012 at 12:07 AM · Report this
74
I agree with whomever thinks this bag "tax" is a ridiculous fraud and does nothing to help our environment, but only rather creates more taxes/inconveniences to shoppers.

If you're a reusable bag supporter who lives in Seattle and takes a walk, what if during that walk you go by a grocery store and decide to do some unplanned shopping?

Since you didn't plan to do any shopping, which helps the store and economy out, you are now penalized because you didn't plan to bring a reusable bag with you on your walk.

This plastic bag ban will do absolutely nothing to help the environment and hopefully a referendum will come in the future to ban this unnecessary ban/tax on shopping bags!

I've been saving plastic shopping bags which I can stick in my pocket and reuse when the ban comes into effect, which I can also order online in counts 1000 for around$20.

I'll likely be ordering a box of 1000 count plastic bags so that I can stick one or two in my pockets in case I decide to go out on some unplanned shopping while out being on foot.

It sure beats carrying around resusable bags with me everywhere I go in case I decide to do some shopping that was unplanned in which I couldn't bring reusable bags like a sheep!

Posted by LetsTellTheTruth on July 2, 2012 at 2:14 AM · Report this
75
I agree with whomever thinks this bag "tax" is a ridiculous fraud and does nothing to help our environment, but only rather creates more taxes/inconveniences to shoppers.

If you're a reusable bag supporter who lives in Seattle and takes a walk, what if during that walk you go by a grocery store and decide to do some unplanned shopping?

Since you didn't plan to do any shopping, which helps the store and economy out, you are now penalized because you didn't plan to bring a reusable bag with you on your walk.

This plastic bag ban will do absolutely nothing to help the environment and hopefully a referendum will come in the future to ban this unnecessary ban/tax on shopping bags!

I've been saving plastic shopping bags which I can stick in my pocket and reuse when the ban comes into effect, which I can also order online in counts 1000 for around$20.

I'll likely be ordering a box of 1000 count plastic bags so that I can stick one or two in my pockets in case I decide to go out on some unplanned shopping while out being on foot.

It sure beats lugging around resusable bags with me everywhere I go in case I decide to do some shopping that was unplanned in which I couldn't bring reusable bags like a sheep!
Posted by LetsTellTheTruth on July 2, 2012 at 2:18 AM · Report this
doloresdaphne 76
@75

The nylon reusable bags fit in your pocket too, and don't crackle while you walk.
Posted by doloresdaphne on July 2, 2012 at 2:30 AM · Report this
Kinison 77
Its not very practical to expect people to carry with them 4-6 cloth bags everywhere they go. To the city council and its citizens who helped pushed people to get people to ditch their cars and adopt mass transit, this feel like a cruel joke (added insult is shutting down dozens of commuter routes).

Its really easy to say "Ohhh this is easy" when you arnt the one having to haul 60-100$ worth of groceries twice a week.

Amazon Fresh is where I'll be doing the bulk of my shopping.
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on July 2, 2012 at 5:56 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 78
Fnarf, since you're the guy who insists that your time is waaaaaay to valuable for you to commute any way but driving, I call bullshit. You drive to the store, too. Every damn time. Ya fuckin milquetoast anus. You don't walk through the rain with groceries any more than you see pervs checking out porn at the library.

No wonder you have such a hardon for WiS. He's just YOU amplified.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 2, 2012 at 6:03 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 79
@ 77, more bullshit. If people could do that with plastic handle bags, they can do it with clothe handle bags, or nylon handle bags, or whatever other petroleum products some of those reusuable bags are made of.

People don't do their major shopping on the way home from work. One or two items, sure. But they don't go to the park or the zoo or the bar and suddenly think "I need to get my bread, milk, cereal, produce, canned goods, paper towels, and toilet paper NOW." Those trips begin at HOME.

Some of you people have your entitled crybaby selves on full display here.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 2, 2012 at 6:09 AM · Report this
80
@79 it's bullshit that people don't do their major shopping on the way home from work. I know that I do. I'm already in the car, driving past the supermarket so it's more convenient than making a special trip originating at home. But I live where hygienic single-use plastic bags are still available, for now, although the city council might change that.

Regarding reusable bags, not only are they disgusting because people don't get that they have to be washed, but every transaction at the supermarket where the customer requires use of their reusable bags seems to take longer as the bagger has to wait while said customer digs out the bags.

Posted by WestSeven on July 2, 2012 at 6:18 AM · Report this
81
I also see a lot of the reusable bag crowd at my local supermarket doesn't put produce in the plastic produce bags. They weigh it and stick the barcode on the item itself and have it bagged directly in the reusable bag. Maybe not the best idea: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/adv…
Posted by WestSeven on July 2, 2012 at 6:24 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 82
@ 80, so you've planned ahead, right? You've got your car, right? Just keep your bags in your car. AND.... since you know that they have to be washed, you can WASH THEM once in a while. Easy.

My comment is directed at those who claim major shopping is a spontaneous thing. I can see someone being out and about and suddenly remembering that they need toothpaste or a loaf of bread, but not a full week's worth of groceries.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 2, 2012 at 6:38 AM · Report this
onion 83
@80 you numbnut crybaby. so you are in yer CAR as you stop at the grocery story on the way home from work? keep your reusable bags in the CAR. you have absolutely zero excuse there.
bunch of freaking crybabies.
Posted by onion on July 2, 2012 at 6:39 AM · Report this
Kinison 84
@79

Normally its not a problem, I bring these plastic handles that allow plastic bags to hook on. They dont cut into my hands and I can carry 6-8 bags home. With paper or cloth bags, the plastic handles are useless.

Grocery shopping on the way home from work is more practical, because im just walking one block from the bus stop, get off on broadway, walk one block to QFC, load up, then 6 blocks home. If I decided to go home for cloth bags, then its 4 blocks up the hill, grab my cloth bags, 6 blocks to the store, load up, then 6 blocks back home. Sorry, but to expect me to walk 16 blocks to buy groceries, aint that a load of bullshit. Remembering to bring cloth bags with me, is about as hard as getting my wife to remember washing the pair of bags she's owned for 5 years, which she has never done.

Seriously, for people who dont own cars, this isnt a minor adjustment, its a major annoyance. It will be one more reason for people to use their car.
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on July 2, 2012 at 6:43 AM · Report this
85
I think keeping a box of 1000 virgin plastic grocery bags in the trunk, like the one in the Amazon link, would be a lot more practical than having to wash reusable ones every week and remember to put them back in the car when they are dry.
Posted by WestSeven on July 2, 2012 at 6:56 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 86
@ 84, BULL. SHIT. The handles on reusable bags do NOT cut into your hands. They're broad, flat, and made of comfortable material. Plastic cuts into you because the weight pulls the handle into little taught strands a 1/4" thick - maybe less. Wide handles distribute the weight more - no cutting.

With you, it comes down to "I don't want to carry bags with me," even though there are some that fit in your pocket. Or "I don't want to change my habits and maybe do shopping on my day off." What, you don't take a bag or backpack to work like everyone else?

You're a lazy man. For you, it would be a minor adjustment. (And YOU can wash those bags yourself, you know.)
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 2, 2012 at 6:56 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 87
@ 85, do you usually fold up your laundry and put it away in your drawers and closet when they're dry, or do you leave them in the laundry basket, picking what you need every day until it's empty and you wash your clothes again?

If you put them away, then the bags are just one additional thing to put away - in your car.

This whole thread is a candidate as the poster child for #firstworldproblems.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 2, 2012 at 7:02 AM · Report this
internet_jen 88
@51 Norovirus via bag: They stored the bag in a hotel bathroom in which patient zero was sick for 6 hours with vomiting and diarrhea. The virus can live on a regular surface for up to two weeks. The bag of food got them sick because they stored it in a bathroom.

http://www.sciencefriday.com/segment/05/…
Posted by internet_jen on July 2, 2012 at 7:50 AM · Report this
GlamB0t 89
Have none of you used the reusable Metro Market bags? They're fabulous. Two types of handles, some kind of vinyl material (that can be easily washed out and hung to dry), and they two can fit about $100 worth of groceries. I use them and *gasp* don't drive to the grocery store.

I know, walking a few blocks carrying 40 pounds might be hard on some of you. Get a cart, radio flyer, friend, etc if you can't carry them home. Seriously guys, minor adjustments are required for this to not be an issue.

People just like to bitch I guess.

Posted by GlamB0t on July 2, 2012 at 8:36 AM · Report this
DOUG. 90
@78: I've always assumed Fnarf and Will in Seattle were the same person.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on July 2, 2012 at 8:44 AM · Report this
91
@32: But my meat isn't tender enough for my taste unless it's been tortured just right, you monster.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on July 2, 2012 at 8:51 AM · Report this
92
@80: Your job takes a bit longer now? Cry me a river and be glad you have work.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on July 2, 2012 at 8:53 AM · Report this
bedipped 93
Banaggedon 2012
As the streets fill with dog shit and groceries rot on shelves unbought, Seattle faces tourist boycotts and severed Sister City contracts amid Charlton Heston-esque cries of "YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT! OH, DAMN YOU, HIPPIES!"
Posted by bedipped on July 2, 2012 at 9:11 AM · Report this
Kinison 94
@86 ", BULL. SHIT. The handles on reusable bags do NOT cut into your hands. They're broad, flat, and made of comfortable material. Plastic cuts into you because the weight pulls the handle into little taught strands a 1/4" thick - maybe less. Wide handles distribute the weight more - no cutting."

I never said they did. The plastic ones do cut into my hands after 6 blocks, which is why I bought a plastic handle that allows me to hook up to 4 bags per handle. Makes carrying up to 8 plastic bags home rather easy.

Because the cloth bags are larger, they wont fit into the plastic handle and because carrying 6-8 cloth bags with me at all times, really isnt practical, i'll end up with a closet full of these things a year from now. Why? Because i'll often forget to bring them with me, just how I often forget to bring the plastic handle that makes it easy to carry plastic bags home. To walk home, grab some cloth bags, then hike it to the QFC, load up then walk back home, is 16 block walk. Thats not some minor change, its a major inconvenience for those who dont own cars.

I dont want to switch because its inconvenient for me, thats all. While using plastic bags wasnt a walk in the park, its made shopping (for those who dont own a car) a tad more difficult.

You know whats easy? Telling other people what to do and how to do it. You yourself dont have a problem demonstrating this. Its easy for you, so it should be easy for everyone else.

Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on July 2, 2012 at 11:10 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 95
@94,

So you're fine carrying those plastic handles with you wherever you go, but carrying some reusable bags around is a fate worse than death? Well, that makes sense.

@28,

It's very nice that *you* reuse all your plastic bags and that you're willing to recycle those you don't use, but most people don't. That's why the ban was put in place.

By the way, you can't just "ball up" plastic bags and throw them in the recycling. You're supposed to put several in one bag and tie it up. Plastic bags that are just tossed in the recycling get caught on the sorting machinery. The fact that you don't know this concerns me; it makes me think you know fuck-all about proper recycling.
Posted by keshmeshi on July 2, 2012 at 11:24 AM · Report this
96
The worst thing about the ban is that it's irrational.
* Calling them single-use bags is a lie. Many if not most are reused.
* Resource savings are dubious. Paper bags are heavier and cost more to transport. Canvas bags require washing, which takes a lot of energy. If the ban causes just one or two extra auto trips per year per person then all of the savings is eaten up in added fuel costs. Replacement garbage bags will likely be much thicker and wasteful
* It may reduce littering, but that could have been mitigated by requiring biodegradable plastics. Plus it will be counteracted by the lesser availability of free garbage bags for cars and pet owners.
Sometimes, the benefits of convenience are worth the cost. Indoor plumbing increases water usage, but I'm not about to give up the convenience to save water.
Posted by dansan on July 2, 2012 at 11:29 AM · Report this
onion 97
Matt from Denver I'm totally with you on this one. keep it up.
Posted by onion on July 2, 2012 at 11:35 AM · Report this
98
wah wah wah cry babies who are scared they might be inconvenienced by bag ban trying to justify their pout.
Posted by judybrowni on July 2, 2012 at 11:37 AM · Report this
onion 99
and for the crybabies...shoot, I think my violin just might be around here somewheres...
Posted by onion on July 2, 2012 at 11:37 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 100
@ 94, if you already knew that cloth bags don't cut into your hands, then bringing up your plastic handles was superfluous. They're irrelevant to the discussion.

Reusable bags hold more than plastic bags - they're both bigger and sturdier. If you can carry 6-8 plastic bags of groceries that far, you can make do with 4 reusable bags which will carry the same amount.

And stop with the "for those who don't own a car" bullshit already. As you admit here, it's a matter of choice for you - the choice to only buy your weeks' worth of groceries on the way home from work instead of other times. This choice of yours is likely not taken by most people who also don't own cars. You don't get to use that for cover.

And finally, I haven't told anyone what to do. So what am I doing here? I'm calling bullshit on your silly complaints. At least you've admitted that it's just a matter of convenience for you. So go ahead - shop Amazon Fresh. That will be even more convenient, won't it?
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 2, 2012 at 11:42 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 101
@ 96, you must work for a plastic bag manufacturer. "Washing takes a lot of energy"??? Not when you wash them with OTHER LAUNDRY.

Come on, let's see if you have a reliable source to back up your other claims.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 2, 2012 at 11:46 AM · Report this
onion 102
and thanks 88. that clears things up.
seems that regardless of what bag one stored their stuff in STORING IT IN A PUBLIC BATHROOM is kinda asking for it.
Posted by onion on July 2, 2012 at 11:56 AM · Report this
103
OK, here's some math. Let's say you have four canvas bags, and that you wash them once a month. Say your washer can hold a dozen canvas bags. That's the equivalent of four full loads of laundry per year. From online stats I found, it costs about $0.97 to wash and dry a load of laundry, and about $0.35 for wear and tear on the equipment, for a total of about $5.28 per year for washing the bags. Say the bags cost $5 each and last three years before replacement, then that's $6.67 per year in wear and tear on the four bags. The total is $11.95 per year total cost of ownership for the bags.

Now, since you don't get free garbage bags anymore, you'll have to buy them. For the kitchen, assume 100 bags per year at $0.036 per bag is $3.60. So, now we're up to $15.55. If you're a dog owner, you need to add another $13.14, for a total of $28.69.

Now, if the grocery store would have had to provide you with 500 bags for year. Even at Amazon prices, that's about $15 per year for the grocery store. So, it ends up costing anywhere from $0.55 to $13.69 more per household, and is clearly not resource-free. Is the trouble and added expense really worth the illusory savings in resources?
Posted by dansan on July 2, 2012 at 12:34 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 104
Yep, @ 103 works for the plastic bag industry. That's as silly an argument as can be. How small must a clothes washer be to only hold 12 canvas bags? I would need about 30 to fill mine. No exaggeration. (And no, I'm not speaking of stuffing them in until there's no room for as much as a handkerchief.)

Again... you wash the bags WITH the loads of laundry you were already going to do. Especially if you have only four of them. Added cost = zero, or close enough to round down to it.

If we're concerned about energy waste, tell me this - how much energy goes INTO bag manufacture? You need to include the cost of the oil - figure out how many tankers of crude we use every year just for plastic grocery bags, as well as energy used to ship them from the plant to all the stores. I have a feeling it will be a bit more than zero.

They wear out in three years? I have had two of my canvas bags for 15 years. They were the first two I bought. One has a tiny little hole in it that hasn't grown since I first noticed it four years ago.

And who uses shopping bags for trash bags? College students, maybe people who rent out rooms instead of apartments, maybe a few others. Must grownups have bigger cans, eight or thirteen gallons, and already buy appropriate liners. Yeah, it sucks to have something "free" taken away, but people adjust. (Anyone using shopping bags in bathroom trashcans can just stop. That was never necessary. Your can still gets germy and still needs to be washed occasionally.)

Next....
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 2, 2012 at 12:57 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 105
Many if not most are reused.


Prove it.

And, no, your personal experience doesn't count. MY personal experience is that the majority of plastic bags get dumped in the garbage, while a smaller number are recycled.
Posted by keshmeshi on July 2, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
106
The only people I can think of who will feel a pinch will be people with dogs, who use the bags as shit holders during dogshit walks. They'll have to get actual bags, if they aren't near a park with a well stocked dog-doo bag receptacle.
Posted by Gomez http://misterstevengomez.com on July 2, 2012 at 2:28 PM · Report this
107
@104, do you honestly think I work for the plastics industry? If so, I categorically deny any association, affiliation, or even sympathy with the plastics industry. My sole interest in the issue is that it doesn't smell scientifically sound, in a cost-benefit sense. I admit that my questioning is motivated a lot by intuition, which is often fallible. But just compare the weight of the plastic bags with the weight of the paper and plastic packaging of the items they are holding. Should the plastic bags really top priority, or is it just a feel-good law?

As for why a dozen canvas bags, I was assuming LARGE canvas bags. Otherwise, you would probably need more than four.

As for zero incremental cost for washing, I don't think that's reasonable. Even if there were no additional loads, adding items increases water consumption and drying duration. In practice, I think there would be additional loads. Some people would do loads consisting just of their canvas bags. Sometimes there just wouldn't be enough room to fit in the canvas bags.

As for how much energy goes into manufacture and transportation, I was deliberately using retail price as a marker. It also allows us to factor in energy costs for cleaning the bags. It's not perfect, but seems reasonable.

As for three year lifespan of canvas bags, that was a wild ass guess. It seemed reasonable, but I could be wrong. What would your guess be for average lifespan, not best case lifespan?

As for who uses shopping bags as trash bags? I do. Exclusively. My re-use rate of shopping bags is 100%. I use them all over the house for garbage and storage. Admittedly, that's not typical, so I assumed a 20% re-use rate in my example.

@105 My personal experience is 100% re-use. I didn't use that. I guessed 20%. If you have real data, please share it. I assume there must be data, because we wouldn't make such a major change without thorough scientific research, correct?
More...
Posted by dansan on July 2, 2012 at 2:48 PM · Report this
108
For the few that throw their plastic bags in the recycling, most do so incorrectly which clogs up the machines costing a shit ton of money to pull them out. Just carry nylon reusable bags with you. And if you forget, most stores have them for $1 at the check out. Soon you'll have so many you'll never forget!
Posted by kersy on July 2, 2012 at 2:59 PM · Report this
109
@106 These are super cheap and easier than grocery bags - http://www.amazon.com/960-Biodegradable-…
Posted by kersy on July 2, 2012 at 3:11 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 110
@ 107, a few things.

First, if you have a top loading washer like most people, you can only choose a few manual settings for the water. Unless you max it out every time, or otherwise manage to come up with the most efficient clothes-to-water ratio, a few extra items won't matter. (Front loaders are a different matter, since they sense how much water is needed by weight. Here, the difference is negligible because too many variable - that is, how many clothes someone washes when they do laundry - will be different each time.)

Using the need to wash canvas bags as an argument against them and in favor of plastic bags, with all their well-documented environmental harm, is silly.

You didn't answer the question about how much energy goes into bag manufacture.

As I've said, my first two canvas bags are still going strong after 15 years with no mending or sewing. They might be unusually high quality. I know I don't take especially good care of them. I have two more that I bought much more recently - four years ago I believe. Still doing very well, no signs of needing replacement. They were both unbleached cotton, though, so they're starting to look dingy. But I'll use them till they do, in fact, fall apart. Which must be years off.

So how long do they last? How about 10 years? I expect my first two (the ones that are 15 years old, it bears repeating) to last for 30, based on the shape they're in now.

Anyway, whether you're a plastic bag industry shill or not, you're not being scientific in the least. You're pulling figures out of thin air, making assumptions based on imaginings and concluding stuff because you've made a certain choice regarding bag use and now the ban is forcing you to change habits. Sorry, but it doesn't add up to a compelling argument, not when you have other, better alternatives.
More...
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 2, 2012 at 3:15 PM · Report this
111
I once slept with a guy who told me when he'd been on meth he'd sometimes find himself sitting in his car all by himself just masturbating for hours. Never coming, just masturbating. He said under the influence it seemed like the most wonderful way to spend his evenings.

Not sure why that springs to mind.
Posted by gloomy gus on July 2, 2012 at 4:10 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 112
@107,

You said many to most. Twenty percent is not most. It's also not many. You don't think it's a problem that 80 percent of plastic bags go into the garbage (including those that are dumped on the street as litter)?

And #108 is correct, as was I in an earlier comment. Improperly recycled plastic bags fucks up recycling processes. How many of the few people who recycle those bags do you think recycle them properly?
Posted by keshmeshi on July 2, 2012 at 4:35 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 113
Look, making a metric ton roll of vegetable-based compostable bags costs about as much as making a metric ton roll of petroleum-based non-compostable fish-choking bags.

The problem is that the heavily subsidized oil companies don't want change.

(caveat - I have something like $50,000 in energy mutual funds which means I own oil stocks indirectly - but fvck them!)
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on July 2, 2012 at 5:50 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 114
@ 111, it's pretty much how you spend all your time, isn't it? What with commenting on every single thread, usually within the first five minutes of its posting, even the infrequent weekend ones.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 2, 2012 at 5:53 PM · Report this
Posted by Theodore Gorath on July 3, 2012 at 5:22 AM · Report this
GlamB0t 116
This thread is mind blowing. Matt from Denver wins.
Posted by GlamB0t on July 3, 2012 at 8:59 PM · Report this
117
It's not like when you throw a plastic bag "properly" away in the garbage can that there isn't a problem. Garbage blows in the wind, gets moved by animals, sits in the earth, floats on the ocean and it NEVER DEGRADES. Plastic can break down into smaller pieces but those pieces are still plastic: void of nutrient, floats on water, doesn't change til it's burned.

So calculate into your costs the cost of removing a zillion pounds of tiny plastic from the ocean.
Posted by JennyAppleseed on July 4, 2012 at 5:11 AM · Report this
118
City ordinance to ban plastic carry out bags and to charge a fee for a paper carry out bag in order to coerce consumers to switch to reusable bags is simply not a very good idea! Although the reusable bag is touted as friendly to the environment, the bag, on the contrary, is not friendly to the environment based upon the fact the Life Cycle Assessments are incomplete with respect to the reusable bag. Life Cycle Assessment documents fail to address the use of water, energy, and generation of greenhouse gases as a result of the consumer washing the reusable bag on a recurring basis in order to maintain the reusable bag in a sanitary condition.

The reusable bag presents health issues related to cross contamination of food items, and the reusable bag can serve as a carrier for contagious viruses. To mitigate these health issues, the bag must be washed on a regular basis. Some people dismiss these concerns and say common sense tells you to wash the bag when it is visibly dirty. However, bacteria and viruses are invisible and cannot be seen with the naked eye. Therefore, adopting a regular schedule to wash the bags as a precaution is warranted. Hand washing or machine washing the reusable bag with soap and bleach will kill 99.9% of all bacteria and viruses.

Hand washing reusable bags consumes less water and energy but is more time consuming then simply tossing reusable bags into the washing machine and dryer. Therefore consumers will switch to the more expensive reusable bags that are machine washable and dry-able. Depending upon the type of appliances and water heater, machine washing and drying will cost the consumer between $37 and $76 annually in increased utility bills for washing bags on a weekly basis, and between $9 and $18 annually if bags are washed monthly. Increasing water usage in areas of the country where water is not in plentiful supply is foolish.

Simply put, sanitary plastic and paper bags are available off-the-shelf! Using water and energy resources to wash reusable bags in order to sanitize them on a recurring basis is a waste of water and energy.
More...
Posted by Anthony van Leeuwen on October 9, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this

Add a comment

Advertisement
 

Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!


All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy