Is This the Beginning of the End For Plastic Grocery Bags?
The day is coming when plastic grocery bags will be as extinct as prehistoric dinosaurs - and that day may be sooner than we think. Is this the beginning of the end?
Kroger, America's largest supermarket chain has announced its intention to ban single-use plastic shopping bags from its stores by 2025. Ultimately, the ban would affect western slope City Markets in places like Grand Junction, Fruita, Delta, Montrose, and Rifle.
The move away from single-use plastic bags will reportedly eliminate 123 million pounds of garbage from U.S. landfills annually.
The alternative, of course, is reusable bags which you can buy for $1, or bring your own heavy duty totes or any other grocery-carrying-capable receptacle.
The issue for me is not paying a few bucks for reusable bags, but rather the convenience.
Earlier this year I was "awarded" a heavy-duty reusable shopping bag for using a new shopping feature at the grocery store. It's a great bag, I love it. But, I usually stop at the store on the way home from work - and guess where my shopping bag is? Hanging on the hook in the kitchen where I put it the first time I brought it home.
If I'm going to use a reusable bag, that means I have to change my habits and remember to return the bag to my vehicle immediately after unloading groceries so that I'll have it the next time I go to the store. The problem with that is, where exactly do you put it amongst the golf bag and cart, tools, tarp, bungees, and other miscellaneous items scattered throughout the truck?
And then what happens when you show up at the store and don't have your reusable bags? Well, you'll either end up buying more bags or making a trip home to get your bags.
It is not an insurmountable issue, but it certainly is inconvenient. But, this is the direction grocery shopping is going. Kroger is the first big chain to announce the change, and you have to figure it's just a matter of time until it's standard in the industry. Consequently, we might as well get used to the idea.
The plastic bag ban seems to be in the distant future, but, I would suggest we start reusing shopping bags now - and when the single-use bags vanish completely in seven years, you won't even notice. Sounds simple, but, the fact is, we are creatures of habit, and generally resistant to change. It probably will take us the next seven years to create a new habit.
Of course, I'm curious about Grand Junction's reaction to the ban. Considering the current landfill situation in Mesa County, it's something we should probably all support.