Editorial: Paper Or Plastic? How About A Reusable Bag?

By / Editorials / Wednesday, 09 December 2015 05:00

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

The Carolina Beach Town Council and the Plastic Bag Committee will hold a joint meeting on December 15th, at 6:30PM at Town Hall in the Council meeting room.
The goal of the meeting is to discuss options for reducing the use of single-use plastic bags in our community.
They'll discuss a proposal to be presented by Town Manager Michael Cramer. You can read more about that topic beginning on Page 1-A.
It's a great idea to help educate the public on the benefits of carrying reusable bags rather than opting for those thin single-use plastic bags that can cause a lot of harm to wildlife and the environment. Not many people are fans of banning such bags and while other communities in the United States have done just that with varying levels of successful impact, any effort to encourage voluntary use of reusable bags verses single-use bags is a step in the right direction.
Slowly kicking the habit rather than going cold turkey.
One proposal is to work with local merchants through a program where the Town provides the bags with the Town and Business logos printed on them. The merchant contributes $100 and they get a recycling container for plastic bags. The Town would take care of recycling those bags.  The merchant would sell the reusable bags to customers for .99 cent and place educational brochures at each register.
While around 90 cities in the U.S. have some type of ban on plastic bags, the state of North Carolina has only permitted it in one locality by special permission of the State General Assembly. Therefore, the Town cannot currently ban such bags. Although, it's likely sometime in the future that will become a possibility.
Ironically, many still remember a time when paper bags were the only option at the grocery store. Then recycling became a trend and we heard the question "Paper or Plastic?"
And now the reusable bag industry is smiling.

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