I am sitting in a coffee shop in Telluride, Colorado, where last week Town Council passed an ordinance banning plastic bags from stores in town starting January 2011. There will also be a fee imposed on paper bags. I wondered how locals were taking the news.
The espresso machine is whirring away, and there is an enormous line behind me, winding its way around the counter. Since all these people are standing, waiting, with nothing better to do, I thought they’d like to discuss the issue. Here’s what they have to say:
“I am thrilled with the news. It won’t affect me either way – I always carry reusable bags.” – Kathy, teacher
“I am bothered that they’re forcing people to choose paper by even having paper available. They should have just gone for it and banned all single-use bags. IKEA has been doing it for years – offering re-usable bags in different sizes ranging from $1-$10. Buy a bag, and just learn to deal.” – Kristen, interior designer
“It’s shallow. It’s a surface issue that distracts from larger issues facing our community, like the tremendous energy useage of Telski for snowmaking, or the expensive and unnecessary water plant being constructed in Bridalveil Basin. Not to mention, paper bags are a drain due to transportation costs – they are heavier than plastic. I would like to see an amazing recycling program for plastic bags. It’s an issue of positive reinforcement vs. micromanagement.” – long-time resident
“Our business already makes it a practice to ask before handing a purchase over the counter in a plastic bag. Now, because we are the first store in our chain to face the bag ban issue, our company is prompting state-wide talk. We are most likely going to adopt a plastic-bag free practice in all our stores.” – Troy, local business manager
It seems that, despite mixed reviews, the bag ban is having already having a trickle-down effect. Read last week’s USA Today article.
If you have a question or opinion, please let us know…some answers to concerns forthcoming.