Yolanda Simonsis is a 38-year veteran of the packaging and converting industries. She has held past editorial positions with two former publications of Delta Communications and Cahners...more

Silly: Another Bag Ban

Close to my own home, the city officials of nearby Chicago suburb Evanston, IL, (home to Northwestern Univ. Wildcats) have proposed a ban on disposable shopping bags–both plastic and paper. Don’t know about you, but I’m getting weary of all this silly stuff.

You may scoff at my choice of words: silly. But it is silly. What’s truly silly is that the hometown of a purportedly respected university like Northwestern (although they did have the that nutty professor who thought an after-class optional live sex toy demonstration was “educational”) doesn’t have enough sense not only to investigate the science but also consider the options to a ban. Like how about investigating people’s behavior when it comes to littering? Now that would make a good live demonstration!

Have you ever watched the cunning actions of a litterer when she/he is trying to unload their trash? How about the person who nonchalantly rolls down the car window and disposes of a cigarette butt, or chewing gum wrapper, or hamburger wrapper, or drink cup, or . . . the list is practically endless. But are these products banned from use? Of course not!

Fortunately, there was ONE sane soul, Mike Sullivan, at a community meeting on the proposed Evanston ban–which would be the first such ban in Illinois–who suggested there might be “other unintended consequences.” A May 24 Chicago Tribune article concluded its coverage of the community meeting by noting that some opponents of the ban suggested “the ban could harm Evanston’s many small businesses. Instead, they suggested encouraging bag recycling programs and voluntary reductions in disposable bag use.”

It’s about changing our lifestyle, Folks! How hard is it to place a used bag in a store recycling container? Probably no harder than refraining from throwing that cigarette butt, chewing gum or hamburger wrapper out the car window.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If we don’t get involved by actively taking part in silly proposals such as these, despite the science that supports the use, manufacture, and energy savings that plastic bags provide, we may find ourselves legislated out of business.

Have you gone to any local meetings considering such bans? If so, what are you doing or saying about it? And, I’m curious, do you recycle your bags?

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