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Friendly shopper

February 15, 2019

Victoria Moon, in her letter to the editor of Feb. 8 (“Reps don’t have a handle on plastic bags”), takes issue with the new plastic bag ban saying the rule was adopted too late at night for the legislators to be thinking clearly. Because lawmakers get cranky and confused if it’s past their bedtime? Really? She goes on to argue against reusing our own bags because of an unexplained health issue due to cross-contamination. I wish she had elaborated. I have been using my own canvas bags at the grocery stores for years and have never experienced any health issues.

I have at least a dozen canvas bags — mostly gotten for free. My latest free bag came from Trader Joe’s when the price of my order came to a round number. I even have a small, orange canvas bag from CVS that I have no idea how I got. I always keep canvas bags in my car and encourage others in my family to do the same.

Stores spend parts of their budgets on buying plastic bags with their logos imprinted on them. They should stop this practice immediately without threat of legislation out of concern for the world they live in. Instead they should create canvas bags similar to Trader Joe’s, Shop Rite and CVS and initially hand them out for free until usage becomes habit. Then, when the environmentally friendly bag is forgotten, the penalty can be imposed.

Stores need to figure out ways to be good citizens, good inhabitants of the Earth. Their concern and change of habit would not only be good for the Earth but would also boost their public image. I know I would rather shop at a retailer who was thoughtful about what he or she might be doing to the world.

It should not be so difficult for our retailers to be pro-Earth and it shouldn’t be so difficult for retailers to help their customers become eco-friendly shoppers as well. If consumers and retailers alike thought about the good this change will have upon the earth and its inhabitants, this new habit would not be so hard to adopt.

Marilyn Wolpin, Stamford