There is clearly a lot of fear and misunderstanding about the coming ban on single-use carryout plastic bags. There are two misconceptions that have been repeated in various letters, which I hope to dispel.
First, it is a myth that the bags handed out at stores are free. The store must purchase them, and the cost is passed down to customers, hidden in the bulked up cost of goods, and charged to all, whether or not one brings one’s own bag. Thus the plastics and chemical industries are fighting the loss of sales of millions of plastic bags each year.
Second, it is only the carryout bags that will be banned. There will still be plastic bags provided in stores into which one may put produce, meats, or bulk items. We will still be able to separate various products and prevent leaking and cross-contaminating other items or our washable cloth carryout bags.
One will still be able to purchase plastic bags of all sizes, from sandwich size to those used to line trash cans. But the cost will be born by those who want them. Same for those who choose a paper carryout bag.