You are an eco-conscious shopper. When you shop you always choose paper bags, knowing plastic bags are made from fossil fuels that last virtually forever.
While your choice makes a lot of sense, pollution control is not so simple: paper bags are heavier, require more fossil fuels for transport than plastic bags, and thousands of trees are cut down to make them.
A switch needs to be made from many individual throwaway bags to a single reusable one.
Starting in March of 2020, there will be a fee on paper bags and a plastic bag ban, and for good reason.
Although inconvenient, this bag ban and fee aims to reduce shoppers use of single-use items that choke and poison wildlife, destroy forests, and whose production and transportation contribute to the climate crisis.
This shift will not be easy, but we have a couple months to practice.
How can New Yorkers prepare? The first step is to pay attention to how much you use. When do you shop? When do you stop in at the corner store? What do you buy? What does it take to carry?
How do you shop? All at once or scattered throughout the week? How many single-use bags do you use in a week?
The next step is to start reducing by changing shopping habits. Start refusing plastic bags from your local delis and your local supermarkets if you are buying items you can carry easily.
Experiment with shopping more often for less things, so you don’t have to carry as much.
Lastly, get in the habit of keeping bags everywhere! Keep bags in the pockets of your winter coats, on hooks near the door, or even in other bags. Really get as much use out of your reusable bag as you can.
Use them until they can’t be used again. Then repair them and use them some more! Now will you come with me to the corner store? Don’t forget your reusable bags!