The other day I went into a popular Canadian retailer who is currently promoting their "green" products. I ending up buying some stuff and when I said "No bag for me today thanks." The sales associate seemed somewhat appalled that I would rather carry my newly purchased "green" products in my canvas bag than a plastic one of theirs (which of course sported a huge logo.) It was the way she said "Oh.......well.....okay." and waved her hands dismissively in the air. It was also the way she looked at me.
I didn't say anything because I really am not one of those crazy die hard environmentalists, and I wasn't about to cause a scene. (Besides the actions of one sales associate do not necessarily reflect the company's policies) but I was a little bit upset by it.
Personally I consider the plastic bag to be one of the worst things there is.
Easy, readily available, and totally unnecessary. A real sign of the decadence of our society and how ignorant we are about how our everyday convenient choices impact the planet on which we live. (Yeah, I know, but re read the warning at the top)
I'm not saying I never ever ever use a plastic bag. I'll admit that in a pinch I've taken them. But I hate the fact that they are available at all. If it were up to me, they wouldn't be.
Well luckily, they now must charge 5 cents a bag in Toronto, so retailers will probably assume that I'm cheap rather than a weirdo.
While I think that this a basically a step in the right direction, that's more because it will create awareness around the issue of plastic bags, than actually act as a deterrent, or reduce plastic bag use.
I also have a big problem with attaching a monetary penalty to plastic bags. Because that's basically the same as saying you can be decadent and wasteful as long as you are willing to pay for it.
Sadly the biggest concern around this issue right now seems to be centered on who will get the five cents.
(But what about the toilet paper? The title is "Plastic bags and Toilet paper"! Yeah, well, seriously, don't get me started!!!)