The most shocking thing to me so far though in the process has been the resistance from people and groups that you would assume (and we all know what assuming does) would be obvious supporters. I have been told over and over again that everyone hates plastic bags, but that the bags are not the problem. Rather these resisters point the blame at the people who litter them as the problem; or that getting something like this accomplished is too difficult because it is more of a cultural shift rather than a change in ones shopping bags; or the best, what will I pick my dog poop up with? So lame. Seriously?
Here is the cultural shift I see, not going from plastic bags to reusable ones, but rather going from a reactive culture to a proactive culture. We know there is a problem, and here is an easy solution, a source reduction. Reactive activities are great, like organizing litter clean up days, I am in full support of that. But if there was a way to cut down on litter and the amount of junk that one of those cleaners had to pick up wouldn't that be a good idea. Now I get that being proactive would be huge cultural shift, one that I could not even imagine trying to undertake, because lets be honest it would take ages. But taking your own shopping bag is easy, and should happen, in the grand scheme of things, relatively quickly. I get that being proactive is difficult insomuch as you have to be fully aware of an imminent problem, which as mere mortals we are not always fully in the know. But when we are, issues such as pollution we should do something about. Isn't there more economic value in forward thinking rather than a quick, fast buck?
I just think that with all the resistance I have come against, it proves that taking your own shopping bags when you go out is not really the issue at all. Rather it is a cultural shift changing from reactive to proactive thinking. If we are always reacting when will we start moving forward. So at this point I am not going to tackle an entire paradigm shift, but I can try to change part of it, with my handy dandy bag ban (or fee, which I have heard is more socially acceptable). So come on lets try being proactive with a bag ban as a solution to reducing plastic pollution.
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