At the Gessing household (located in Albuquerque) which includes two dogs, the supply of thin plastic bags is almost gone. The City’s bag ban took effect once again on August 1 after having been waived since early on in the pandemic. Between trash can liners and pet waste pick up, our thin plastic bags disappear quickly.
Joline Gutierrez Krueger is a reliably left-wing columnist at the ABQ Journal, but even she asks some uncomfortable questions in a recent article. The thicker bags (which remain legal) are, as Krueger notes, are “made with even more plastic (than the thin ones).” And, “The thicker bags, the (environmental) groups say, take longer to decompose and introduce even more toxic chemicals into the environment.”
The columnist rightly notes (as reflected by Gessing’s own experience in attempting to reuse the thicker, more environmentally-damaging bags,
These (thicker) bags are no substitutes for the thinner bags, which were handy as bathroom wastebasket liners, kitty litter disposal and dog poop collecting. Opponents of bag bans say consumers are now buying small bags for those tasks, thus rendering bag bans senseless since they ultimately bring more plastic into the environment.
And plastic bags are not acceptable under the city’s recycling program.
How does any of this make sense?
We agree! What’s the upshot? We’ll push the new City Council and (hopefully) mayor to repeal this ill-conceived ban. But, in the near term it means a big grocery/bag re-stocking trip grocery shopping in (bag ban free) Rio Rancho this weekend.