Retail stores in Minneapolis are getting ready for a June 1 ban on plastic bags, a ban that has met lots of controversy in the past year, and it could take effect next week if Gov. Mark Dayton signs a budget bill that has a provision blocking it.
The Minneapolis City Council approved a plastic bag ban last year that will forbid stores from providing plastic bags for shoppers (exemptions for bags to wrap produce, flowers, newspapers, dry cleaning and some other items) and allows stores to instead offer paper bags to customers for 5 cents each, with an exception for customers who use public assistance to buy food.
The ordinance is an effort to move Minneapolis closer to its zero-waste goals. There are a variety of environmental concerns related to plastic bags, from the resources it wastes to make them to the litter and pollution they create. I think this is a great ordinance as it will drastically cut down on environmental waste. If you don't like the idea of having to pay for a bag at the store, here's a list of many other options you could pursue.
1. Stop whining and bring your own bag from home.
How many bags do you already have at your house? I’m guessing thousands upon thousands. Why not cut down on waste and preemptively bring your own bag from home? I understand that this may be a foreign concept to many Americans but Europeans have been doing it for decades. It really isn’t that hard to do and if you tend to be a forgetful person, why not store some extra bags in the trunk of your car?
2. Carry your goods in a wagon.
Grocery store starts taking away your bag privileges? Why not show up with your own wagon. You won’t waste time trying to find a cart and that way you won’t have the misfortune of picking a cart with a squeaky wheel. It will allow you easily transport your goods from one place to another without having to physically carry any of the weight.
3. Go even more old-fashioned and bring in a wheelbarrow.
I mean, especially do it if you’re in the south. How much more country could you get? Turn your Luke Bryan music up and have yourself a good ol’ rodeo in the middle of the grocery store. Your fellow shoppers will love the entertainment.
4. Lug your items around the store in a suitcase.
What else do a lot of grocery stores have? Suitcases. You could always buy a suitcase or bring one from home if you’re struggling on deciding how to get around this plastic bag ban. People will just think that you’re about to leave for an important business trip when you’re really just too lazy to bring a bag from home to store your purchases in.
5. Just give up and do online shopping.
Is the thought of not receiving a free plastic bag at the grocery store really starting to stress you out? Opt out of the regular grocery routine and instead hire someone or a service to do all of your grocery shopping for you. The Internet nowadays is magnificent as there are actual companies that will go out shopping for you and then will deliver your items to your front door.
So there you have it. There are five ways to avoid the plastic bag ban and to instead prepare yourself for your next grocery trip. The plastic bag ban really isn’t as big of a deal as some people are making it out to be and just think about what wonders it will do for improving our environment.