Friday, July 6, 2012

Bag Ban Theory

Just as in many other California communities, a ban on single-use plastic bags has recently gone into effect in Pasadena. Those bags are big polluters so I think the ban is a good idea. The ban doesn't cover all stores, but I can't keep track of which stores it's in and which it isn't, so I carry my canvas bags everywhere. I've been doing it for a while and I have a collection in the back of the car.

You play your cards right and folks give 'em to you for free, if you don't mind a logo. I've got one from the City of Pasadena, one from Whole Foods, one from some book fair a hundred years ago, several from Bell Sound and about a hundred Trader Joe's paper bags that just won't quit.

What logos have you collected so far?

30 comments:

Latino Heritage said...

Trader Joe's. But I really usually use my bags from The Container Store. I have 3 in my purse - ready to shop at the drop of a hat.

Chrissy Brand said...

A lovely photo here, and a theme I am passionate about. I agree all placto bags shd be banned, and ones still used in shops should be charged for at high prices.

Tracy Wood said...

My favorite canvas bag is my Detroit Tigers bag! Got it at a game a few years ago and I keep it in my car :) Go Tigers!

Ann Erdman said...

It applies to four types of businesses: supermarkets, drug stores, liquor stores and convenient stores.

My favorite bag is one I got in Beijing that's pretty and elegant. I also use a couple of Pasadena Water and Power bags that are big and roomy.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

TJ's has been ahead of game for years!. I loved their incentive of having the customer bring their own bags then they would have a $25 raffle.. Now, its history which is fine since most bring their own.. I am so glad to not get those ugly, dangerous plastic bags... Our local farmer's mkt. handed out these large double handled bags that are a dream come true!.

Susan Campisi said...

My favorite is a Mark & Spencer twiggy bag a friend brought back from London. I have so many others. If I forget them, I carry the groceries to the car and load up the back seat.

Susan Campisi said...

Oh, lovely photo. It looks like a late September day with all the dry leaves.

Jane N Rollins said...

Jane Rollins uses bags from all the conferences I attend -- they tend to be sturdier than the flimsy ones used as promos for stores.

Jean Spitzer said...

I have many bags. But the one I use most often, I bought. It is nylon-ish and packs up into its own self-pouch, which fits in my bag. It is light and small and I even travel with it.

Petrea Burchard said...

We all seem to care about this! A lot of comments. Chrissy, I forgot to mention that we are now charged for the plastic bags. It's only 10 cents but I believe it's an incentive to bring our own because we're so used to getting them free.

It sounds like you all have been collecting good ones. A couple of my older bags are very sturdy--the big, square kind with the reinforced bottom. I have an ancient Food-4-Less canvas bag that must go back to the 1990s. I've had it since before I moved to Pasadena and I have no idea where I got it.

Anonymous said...

I have carry bags from all over the place, but also a stack of saved Trader Joe's and Pavilions bags. And then there is my bag of carefully rolled up Pavilions single use plastic bags.

We don't litter with ours, but use them to enclose trash that goes into our communal condo dumpster bins.

Wondering what dog owners are using now when they take their four-leggers out for a walk?

Petrea Burchard said...

Good question, anonymous. The grocery bags have never been best for poo bags because they biodegrade so slowly. You can get biodegradable poo bags at Whole Foods, and the price is reasonable.

Speedway said...

Here we have bags made from recycled plastic that resembles canvas. They're not free, either, but worth it as they're definitely reusable. They're from Whole Foods, Kroger, and Marsh (regional). One of my favorites is a bag I bought at Nordstrom, made from hemp, that zips into a compact shape I carry in my usual tote. It's strong and carries a lot of groceries.

Clifford Beshers said...

All mine are from Vons, but I turn them inside out so other stores don't get offended. But then the Vons checkers turn them back. Branding makes people do stupid things, sometimes.

Bellis said...

Love your title again. And such a beautiful photo - I eventually spotted the bag. I have many free cloth bags from Pasadena Water and Power, very roomy, and from Caltech, and others, but I swear by the Trader Joe's blue insulated bags with the zip top, they are SO useful and keep the food cool till I get home. The folks at Vons do tend to make faces when I ask them to use them.

I'm totally in favor of banning plastic bags as I once had a microplastic incident that was very scarey, when tiny bits from an old and decayed bag stuck on a bush in the Arroyo crumbled and got stuck all over my skin and even into my lungs. But cloth bags use up natural resources and energy, and you have to use one 100 times to make up for the energy that one plastic bag takes to make.

Petrea Burchard said...

I think we have the recycled plastic, too, Speedway. Most of the stores are charging for them now but my older ones are holding up well.

And as far as being polite, Cliff, I'm not as nice as you are. I figure as long as my bags hold up, if the stores want me to carry their advertising they can give me a free bag. I can pay for logo-free bags anywhere.

Petrea Burchard said...

I keep missing you, Bellis.

That's a strange incident. Ick and yikes and ouch.
I suppose everything we make takes up energy, but I'm sure I've used my cloth bags many more than 100 times. If I ever throw them away, they're heavy enough that I doubt I'll see them hanging from trees in Hahamongna after a rain storm. In other words, nothing we make/use is perfect, but I have hopes that these are a less wasteful solution.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I paid 99.9 cents for my 99 cent store bag

Book Dragon said...

I have a couple from the Gas Co. that were free but I love my Target bags. I shop a lot at Target and save the plastic bags to use again for groceries.

Instead of banning them, why not say they must use the biodegradable ones?

My husband and I both have a stash in the car and I have some cute ones that fold into themselves for quick stops.

Petrea Burchard said...

PA, someone owes you almost a penny.

BD, I haven't seen the biodegradable ones except in the poo bag type. Maybe they're too expensive? I don't know the answer.

John Sandel said...

I don't give a damn about plastic bags. I just love the photo.

Katie said...

Great photo! I love my white canvas Trader Joe's totes, but now I want one of the insulated ones since Bellis swears by it.

Dina said...

This is such a fun post. And title.
They are trying to push tote bag use in Israel, but I seem to be the only one in the food stores not using plastic bags. I never understand that; they are so painful to carry them when they are full of heavy things.

My free bags are from
Heifer International
Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary Australia
Goethe-Institut Israel
Bezalel Academy of Arts Jerusalem

But the ones with long handles, meant for over the shoulder, are not good for me since I am always carrying stuff in a backpack.

Still, you have to take some plastic bags from the supermarket to use for the garbage pail.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, J.

Bellis may have created a run on the insulated bags.

Dina, I'd love to have the bags you have. They sound like a good batch of conversation starters.

TheChieftess said...

As anonymous asked, we use the bags for cleaning up after Kelly and the kitties and is the reason I've never really made the shift to the carry bags...I have a problem with buying "poo" bags and don't understand how if they can come up with bio degradeable poo bags, then how come they can't seem to do the same for shopping bags? I don't mind the idea of carrying my own bag...and I have some great ones including a couple of insulated bags...

While I'm very concerned about the over use of plastic bags (including our own), I've also been concerned about things like old plastic toys...where do those go to die??? And if plastic is not biodegradable...any and everything made of plastic is concerning...especially in our throw away society.

Petrea Burchard said...

Chieftess, my educated guess: They can make us biodegradable bags but they cost money and consumers are used to getting their plastic grocery bags for free. So perhaps reusable bags are a more viable option?

As for the plastic toys, you are correct, it's concerning. They end up in the landfill.

Margaret said...

I have many, but I like my Girl Scout one.

Irina Rekhviashvili said...

Two bags live in my car on permanent basis: one I have got as exhibition samples' bag with box of chocolate sweets from Belorussian company. Another one, with exhibition logo was carrying two bottles of red wine as present from exhibition organizer.

And one is at home, it is "Clyde's" 15"x15" and the lady in Manhattan cosmetics shop insisted to use it for carrying 2" bottle of facial lotion I bought there.

Thank you for sweet memories.

The use of plastic is in full speed here, though they are not for free in the supermarkets and small shops.

Amazing evening golden light in the photo.

Linda said...

There's no ban here, but some shops now charge 5p for a carrier bag, which has a tiny effect. But we collect reusable bags from other countries we visit. My favourites are big woven plastic ones from Centre Leclerc supermarkets in France, with photos of 'La Terre' and 'L'Eau'. From 14 years ago we still have one Leclerc bag from Brittany with a superb photo of a lighthouse amid crashing waves. From the tiny mountain town of Rossland, British Columbia, we have bags from Ferraro Foods.

Petrea Burchard said...

Linda, you remind me of the bags I've kept from my travels--paper bags from Windsor and London, a couple of interesting plastic bags from Paris shops. I don't use them, though. They're tucked away on a shelf.