Because today is National Plastic Bag Free Day, our Sunday Scribblings prompt for this week is Plastic. If you decide to write a post based on this week’s prompt, be sure to go back here and share your link so everyone can see how you interpreted things! Here’s what I did with it…
Apparently this Plastic Bag Free Day isn’t just a national thing. When I Googled it, it turns out to be an international deal. A global movement to discourage the use of plastic bags that one would typically find in their local grocery store.
Locally, there has been an effort to change shoppers’ habit of asking for plastic bags at the checkout line. The city in which I live has instituted a tax on plastic grocery bags. If you’re at the store and have your groceries bagged with plastic, you’re charged an additional five cents per bag. No one wants to pay extra when their groceries have all been totaled up.
But it’s just inside the city limits that this change has taken place. Go into the county or another neighboring town and that charge doesn’t exist. Everywhere else it’s still a plastic bag free-for-all.
I get the reasoning behind the new tax. Again, it’s a simple way to discourage people from choosing plastic. A way of encouraging people to remember to bring reusable bags when they go to the store. For me, however, it only poses a problem when I think about some of my clients trying to shop for groceries. Really, I think about anyone paying for their groceries with SNAP benefits (food stamps).
See, the use of SNAP benefits allows the shopper to get their food free of sales tax. But that plastic bag tax is added after the fact. And what happens if someone paying with SNAP doesn’t have any loose change to pay for two or three plastic bags?
Well… in the few times I’ve experienced this, I’ve been the one to pay the small fee. I mean… it’s really not that much.
The reality, though, is that this has only trained those individuals to learn where they can shop outside the city limits.
I wonder… In the six months since that ordinance went into effect, has it decreased people’s actual use of plastic bags? Seems like it would be the kind of thing that people would grumble and complain about for a few weeks once the tax was implemented, but then it would become just another thing that’s part of our every day lives. Like sales tax or insurance costs deducted from a paycheck.
Thanks to everyone who participated this week and shared your links! Please visit their blogs, give them a follow, and take a look at how they interpreted the prompt.
Be sure to come back on Wednesday for the next Sunday Scribblings prompt! Encourage other bloggers to challenge themselves with the prompt! Remember that there are no rules for what you write, other than responding to the prompt! You can write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose, biography, instruction… it’s all up to you!