Recently, I was reading about a town in Maryland that looked into banning plastic bags in grocery stores. Comments ranged from calling the town "snobby" (because they care about the environment and your health?) to "who on earth would want to drag some stringy bags to the store each time they go?"
Oh, the horror. Oh, the inconvenience. Having to take a few bags with you to the grocery store to save on the overwhelming overuse of plastic bags everywhere when they are really unnecessary. While I don't agree with expense of everything here, I do agree with the stores' policy to charge folks 15 ISK (about .25) for each regular plastic grocery store bag they need. If I forget my bags, I pay for the plastic ones, but only if I really have so much that my hands can't handle.
I know San Francisco also made the move to selectively ban them a while back and many congrats to them. However, I did not expect to see this article today. It is wonderful to see other countries being more proactive and I only wish more folks in the U.S. would quit seeing the 'free' plastic bags as being a right and would look at them as the waterway clogging wasteful non-necessary items they are.
Why is it so wrong or weird to take bags to the store? Isn't that what our ancestors did and didn't we admire their abilities to be thrifty and conserve? So we show our thanks by throwing everything into landfills and creating nice dumps for our kids and grandkids to have to deal with someday?
These days one actually has a decent selection of reusable grocery bags to choose from, if you don't have a million freebie tote bags sitting around the house. Many can be found at Reusable Bags. One can pick their 'style' of grocery bag and they also offer smaller bags for produce. Some bags are so small they can fit in a pocket. However, all are sturdy and pay for themselves in just a few visits (especially here). Baskets are also a great investment and can be found at the same site or others, such as The Container Store.
And, yes, we do reuse the bags we buy for actual garbage. I know many folks who do and don't necessarily fault that. However, there is also much in the U.S. that is thrown away that could be reused and or recycled and isn't.
For that reason, I am so grateful Reykjavik also offers Sorpa, a recycling facility that takes everything from paper to unused candle wax. I wish we had less (in general) to recycle, however, at least it can be done. Everything from bathtubs (they go in the ceramics/glass bin) to bicycles (the steel bin) can be recycled (if not in decent enough shape to be donated).
Which reminds me that I should probably go count our deposit bottles and retrieve our much-needed refund...