Monday, June 18, 2012

Plastic bags cheapen shopping for groceries

There used to be an art to "sacking" groceries. Of course that was back when we had paper sacks. At the checkout station, the cashier would ring up your groceries for the day while a proud sacker would strategically sort out your groceries and bag them for you. No one bag was was much heavier than any of the others. The cold stuff went together, as did the produce and everything was appropriately stacked as to avoid any damage to your goods.

Now, we have plastic bags and anything goes.  You'll get one that weighs a ton and another that's only got a few ounces in it. Your bread is just one of many things that is likely to get crushed in today's plastic bag world. 

When you get home, no longer do you get the pleasure of walking in with several, tall, upright paper bags full of groceries for your family. The sense of "I went to the market" is gone.  Now, one walks in with a bunch of unsightly, drooping bags that can sometimes cut the circulation off your finger tips if you're not careful. Their armorphic properties frequently allows them to roll off the counter.

Then, as if I had to mention it, there's the horrendous toll these hundreds of thousands of plastic bags (trash) are taking on our communities.  Look at any cyclone fence, there's hundreds of bags tangled up. Weeds are everywhere in Laredo, and where's there's weeds, there's plastic bags ensnared about them.

I'm glad a concerned group of citizens is again resurrecting the effort to reduce the number of plastic bags that litter the Gateway City.  Councilman Alex Perez deserves credit for lending the influence of his position the this cause. Also, Ms. Tricia Cortez, who has a propensity for aligning herself with good, community-promoting causes deserves much credit as well.


  1. When the topic of doing away with plastic bags came up some time ago, I think it was Councilman Rendon who vouched for them by saying that the bags are good because they help line your home wastebaskets.

    I totally support doing away with the plastic bags. They actually pile up at home.

    When I used to work at HEB (a long time ago), management would advise us to fit about ten, maybe more, items in each bag.

  2. How about simply educating the public on recycling and litter control and actually enforcing litter laws? A plastic bag ban will only hurt the poor and will lead to job losses locally. How will we stop the plastic bags being used in Nuevo Laredo or from floating down the river from other cities? Then there is the problem with reusable bags that become infested with bacteria that can lead to health problems. If there is a ban, who will fairly and effectively enforce the ban in Laredo? Code Enforcement can’t even stop people from dumping tires all over the city (just ask BTB). Maybe we should ban all tires as well. Then there are people like Alex Perez who say we need to be more “progressive”. Being “progressive” does not mean that the government should be meddling in every aspect of our lives. The City of Houston recently banned piñatas at some of their public parks due to litter. Should we also be “progressive” and ban Piñatas? That would go over really well with the citizens of Laredo. I understand the issues and the problem, but a ban is not the answer, education and litter enforcement is all we need.

  3. I think the effort ongloing at present is meant to reduce the use of plastic bags, not necessarily ban them. I agree educating the public is always a good way to go- but given how good our "educating" system does, it probably would not do very good. I'd like to be wrong in that aspect.

  4. I Like Bernman's idea. You just need a crowd that WANTS to be educated. Incentives wouldn't hurt either. The Super Targets up here offer a 10% discount for using your own tote for purchasing items. Maybe if there was money involved, like the llanta program the city of Laredo has, or aluminum recycling, there would be less plastic junk in the river?

  5. Some people are just trashy, never will not litter, ban plastic bags.

    Some people drive like idiots when talking on the cell phone...ban cell phone driving.

    Some people are fat and eat too much. Ban sugar, large soft drinks, and fast food.

    Some people have abandoned their kids for whatever reason, arrest parents even if kid escapes from house/yard and gone for 5 minutes.

    Some kids cannot compete in school with other kids for whatever reason, ban high standards so more kids can pass in school...

    the list is never ending these days...

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