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Plastic bag ban, a small adjustment we should make now

October 28, 2011

Smoking in restaurants and jetliners, glass and newspapers in the trash bin, oil or poison down the drain — years ago, many people didn’t think twice about environmental hazards that we now shake our heads at in disbelief.

On some level, though, it makes sense that the movements among cities, including Glendale, to ban single-use plastic bags from major retailers is encountering some resistance. Change, even smart change, is hard.

Those plastic bags — the majority of which are used for a cumulative 30 minutes from store to car to kitchen — take hundreds of years to degrade, are dirty to manufacture, clog landfills and storm drains and pose a hazard to wildlife. And customers use millions of them every year.

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It makes spending a few dollars on a clutch of canvas reusable bags, stored in your car’s trunk until you need them, seem like a small habit adjustment … because it is.

Just like it now feels weird to not wear a seatbelt while driving, or to light up a cigarette in an enclosed space crowded with people, so it will be with single-use plastic bags in the near future.

Glendale and other cities should be commended for pursuing a ban that should have been in place years ago. Following the ready-made regulations established by Los Angeles County for unincorporated areas makes it all the easier.
 
 

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