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Reported by foodem.com, the online wholesale food marketplace-

I know I recently wrote about this topic, but I feel that it is such an important issue as far as sustainability is concerned, so I am going to make it a two part-er. This issue continues to be relevant and it’s unfortunate that many people don’t understand the harms that come along with using plastic bags.

I went to Target this week to grab a couple of things and thus didn’t need a bag. Well a few things turned into ten, which it always does and I unfortunately had to ask for a bag. I remembered my research and asked for a paper bag. The cashier was shocked, claiming no one ever asked for paper bags, and she only had a small stash of them available.

I was slightly disappointed after hearing that. It seems that so few people actually understand or even care about the harms of plastic bags. This discouraging incident made me want to revisit the issue of plastic bags just to stress it’s importance once again, and demonstrate how easy it is for all of us to make a difference!

In contrast to my eye opening experience of the ever-increasing plastic bag usage, bags were outlawed in Los Angeles in the last couple of weeks. According to the New York Times on May 23 the Los Angeles City Council passed a ban on plastic bags at supermarkets, making the city the latest- and largest- to partake in California’s concerted effort to rid its business of the environmental offenders. “Over the next 16 months an estimated 7,500 stores in that county will be required to drop plastic from their checkout counters and offer paper only, for a ten cent fee.” This incredible progress gives me hope that other cities will follow their lead, and take up this insistence of using paper or reusable bags.

There is so much debate about which is worse, the paper or the plastic bag. I think it is imperative that everyone starts using reusable bags and scratch both paper and plastic; however, one thing that is great about paper bags is that they can be composted. Producing and recycling both types of bags is unfathomably destructive for the environment. But, when forced to make the choice, it is much better to compost your paper bags then to recycle either one. One thing to note, if the paper bags have print on them, make sure the print is made with a vegetable (like soy) based ink before composting. These bags will provide essential nutrients to your garden.

So hopefully I have gotten my point across. Now that you are extremely aware of the hazards, and are informed about how easy it is to change your bad habits and to make a difference, it is time to spread the word. Don’t forget this post when out at the grocery store. Also, remind your friends and family, especially if you notice them accumulating unnecessary plastic bags. The earth will thank you!

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