Letters to the Editor

A bag ban isn’t necessary on island | Letters | Jan. 12

I love plastic bags for their usefulness. Since there is no scientific study of how people use, reuse and recycle plastic bags, I looked at my own plastic bag usage.

While I own several reusable shopping bags, I generally find it more convenient to use the plastic bags because they are clean and very strong. I would never be able to carry as many heavy items in a paper bag. Also, they are extremely useful for many household tasks for which I would otherwise have to buy trash bags.

Of the bags I get, nearly 50 percent are reused as trashcan liners in the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms and office. Some are used for temporary food storage. Others are used to clean up after our two dogs and to clean the cat litter box. A few are used in the shop to hold steel wool, rags and spare parts, or to dispose of messy trash.

Those we don’t reuse are collected in a reusable shopping bag hanging in the kitchen. When there are more bags than we can reuse, I package them up in a plastic bag and recycle them in the bin in front of Safeway. I have 100 percent reuse and recycling of plastic bags. This saves me time and money, and the environment because the alternatives are more energy intense.

The problem is not plastic bags. It’s litter and the arrogance of a City Council that thinks it knows better than we do.  The solution to litter is education and cleanup. When I see litter, I pick it up and put it in a plastic bag. I keep plastic bags in the car to store what might otherwise become litter until I can find a garbage can.

If the council decides it knows better than we do and bans plastic bags, we will be forced to buy thicker and more energy-consuming trash bags. For messy meats and vegetables, either the store or I will have to provide plastic bags to keep from soiling the reusable bags.

Reusable bags are hothouses for bacteria and should be washed after every use.

We will all be forced to spend more money, effort and electrical energy washing and drying the reusable bags or risk illness.

All in all, I love plastic bags. We hope the council will resist doing the politically correct thing and trust the citizens to do what is right. Voting against the ban is a vote for use, reuse and recycling of plastic bags and for the choice to use reusable bags.

Gary Tripp, Bainbridge Island

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