I don’t get it. Just ban plastic bags altogether.

Saver Queen’s announcement of Loblaws making everyone pay $0.05 for every plastic bag they use has prompted me to write this short post:

Why don’t we just ban plastic bags altogether?

(You could buy a really expensive Hermes silk foldable, reusable bag if you want to do it eco-chic for 700 EUR or $1400 USD —>)

Call me naive, but that’s the only solution I see to really stop everyone from using plastic bags.

Charging them $0.05 is too small of an amount for anyone to care about.

I’m probably being a callous, elitist enviro-Nazi bitch to some of your eyes right now, but it’s true. $0.05 is nothing, because it’s too small to be noticeable on any grocery bill.

So, unless you’re really frugal, hate paying what I call “taxes on the stupid” (fees being charged for being stupid), and are scrimping to make ends meet, $0.05 is nothing to you.

It’s not a high enough fee to make people take notice.

“But it’s not fair and can’t be done, FB! NO store will ban plastic bags”

Hogwash. That’s right, wash for hogs. *OINK*

If you banned plastic bags completely, and if I ran into the store to pick up some fruit and couldn’t carry them home, I’d be forced to pay $1.00 to buy a reusable cloth bag.


That’s going to be enough for me to sit up, take notice, store a cloth bag in my car, in my backpack, or anywhere I may conveniently be (at work?) so that if I pick up groceries, I’ll have a bag ready to use instead of forking over $1.00 every time for each bag I use.

Case in point: Gas.

Prices increased higher than before (but still lower than Europe), and people stopped driving as much.

They started walking, taking the public transportation, carpooling, using less gas in general.

It made a real difference because it hit where people hurt the most – in their pockets.

It might sound stupid (might? okay it will), but I think that the higher the fees for stuff like not bringing a cloth bag, the more people will sit up and take notice because now it’ll cost them $3.00 for 3 reusable bags, and with that kind of stupid tax, they’ll start bringing their cloth bags more diligently until it becomes habit.

Lecturing doesn’t help.

No one wants to be lectured or bitched out for not carrying a cloth bag, or being more environmentally friendly.

Pleading for the cute panda bears and whales doesn’t work.

What works, and always seems to work en masse is money.

Anyway, if you don’t want to ban plastic bags completely, why don’t you switch all your bags over to those biodegradable enviroment-friendly plastic bags that break down in a landfill?

At least you won’t be making people pay $0.05 for something that’ll just end up hurting the environment in the end if they do cave in and buy that plastic bag.

I think higher fees that hit the wallet are the way to go.

Appealing to people’s greener, altruistic Save-the-Whales attitude doesn’t seem to work because they’re all stressed out, tired, cranky and HUNGRY.

Updated notes from comments:

True, you have to wash cloth bags and it releases chemicals in the water…. except I don’t use detergent any longer, and vinegar with lemon juice does the job.

It’s not feces being spread all over the bag (I hope), and you’re washing the bag, what, once every two months or so?

And only if a super ripe tomato decides to commit suicide inside the bag.

Besides, the chemicals being released from washing the bag are the same as if you were to wash the bag with your clothes.. so technically, no EXTRA harm done there.

And chemicals being released could potentially be a lot better (I am not saying it is! I don’t have proof) than all that mass of plastic that is clogging the oceans and landfills that just won’t break down, killing animals, etc.

I also think the best plan is a blanket plan. Ban ALL plastic bags, and make people pay $0.25 for biodegradeable ones.

And if you end up paying $1 each time, and it’s getting expensive and irritating then I say all the better. Your plastic-happy habits will be nipped in the bud as a result.

If this rant didn’t work, then please.. do it for the pandas!!

“Please.. Reader… won’t you use a cloth bag? … For a little panda bear… like me?”



About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.