If you haven’t already, it’s time to cultivate a tighter relationship with your cloth shopping bags. Because you’re going to need them. Because the days of single-use plastic bags are nearing the end.
For starters, plastic bags and other plastic filmy substances are no longer allowed in the blue recycling bins. This includes shopping bags, garbage bags, trash liners, zip top bags, produce bags, bread bags, newspaper bags, dry cleaner bags, bubble wrap—you get the picture. Why? The bags gum up the sorting machine, shutting it down and wasting everyone’s time. (Recycling plant employees stand alongside the conveyor belt pulling out bags but once in a while they miss one.)
What’s a shopper to do? Remember your cloth shopping bag. You have one, or a dozen, yes?
As for those plastic bags: Reuse them—who says they must be single-use? You can also save them up till you get a critical mass and drop them off at Harmons, Lowe’s, Target and some Albertson’s stores. They will donate bags to the Bags to Beds Project (see CATALYST, March 2018).