I Think Paper Bags Are Better Than Plastic and Not Just Because of the Environment
By now you've probably heard that on July 1, 2021, plastic bags will no longer be offered at most Maine retail stores. A new law in Maine goes into effect on that day prohibiting retailers from offering single-use bags. That includes plastic and anything that is not recyclable. Stores however can offer bags that are not single-use or are recyclable for a fee of at least 5 cents. That includes paper bags and I am all on board for that, not just because it's safer for the environment.
Until around the late 80s, you didn't find plastic bags in most stores. We took our groceries home in paper bags, and when they became the preferred bag at the grocery store, I was really missing the paper bags. Now they're back at Hannaford and I've started using them already.
Paper bags are completely recyclable and you can put them in your recycle bin each week to be picked up or bring them to your town transfer station and recycle them there. But that's not the biggest reason I prefer plastic bags. These things are workhorses!
Have you ever done a week's worth of shopping and gone home with 15 or more plastic bags, some of them with only an item or two in them? That drives me crazy. You can load up a paper bag with a lot more items than plastic and it will hold up and stand upright in the car.
I was a bagger for several years as a teenager at Shop 'N Save, the precursor to Hannaford. Back then we also used to carry the groceries out to the customer's car and put them in for them, but the packing of a paper bag was an art form.
Cans go on the bottom for a heavy, sturdy base. Then you stack your boxes on top of the cans, bread, eggs, chips and delicate produce go on the top. I still remember it and was able to come home with 15 items in one bag that would have been in three plastic ones. And there's something satisfying about tucking a bag under each arm as you walk in the house with them.
I'll take paper over plastic every single time. Now if only I had a school textbook and could recyle this bag as a book cover. That one I've forgotten how to do, so I just watched this video.
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