Ink Out Loud: Bring your own
October 2, 2014
The cashier looked at my co-worker as if she was straight outside of her mind. "I have my own bag," Cynthia said. "Don't waste one on me." Cynthia smiled and the girl behind the counter laughed at her. As we were leaving the store, we heard the cashier say, "what a weirdo!" That was about six years ago.
Maybe that cashier ate her words on Tuesday, when California became the first state to ban plastic bags.
I agree with the early words of Pete Seeger, who said "If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production."
It applies to plastic bags, but also chopsticks.
Bamboo, birch and poplar trees turn into about 80 billion pairs of eating utensils each year.
According to a recent article in the Economist, "A decade ago several universities in China launched a 'bring-your-own-chopsticks' movement. But few people paid attention, even after the government lent its support in 2006 by imposing a 5-percent tax on throwaways. The factory price of a pair is about one-third of an American cent, so few people cared."
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It took me awhile to remember to keep reusable bags in my car, but it's a habit now. I think I'll throw a pair of reusable chopsticks in there, too.