For those of you who don’t live in Montgomery County, Maryland, you may not be aware that we have a new shopping bag tax. If ever we are shopping, be it a grocery store, or a CVS or a Kmart, and whatever we buy requires the store to bag it in a plastic bag, we get charged 5 cents. 5 cents per plastic shopping bag. No ifs, ands, or buts.
I think its been enacted to force people to be more ‘green’, or maybe it’s just a source of easy revenue for the govm’t, like the automatic traffic speed cameras. Whatever the reason, it’s here to stay, and people are slowly beginning to use cloth or canvas bags instead of the gazillion plastic bags we used to.
Unfortunately, like any other old habit, it’s hard to change. It’s hard to remember the bags, even if they are in your car. Most of the time when I forget them, and it happens often, I feel like a complete moron and end up going back to my car with all my stuff piled up on the counter. Either I do that, or if it’s few enough things to carry or juggle, I walk my purchases back to my car in my arms and dump it all unceremoniously in my back seat. (Whether or not my kids are sitting there.)
At first, I started resenting the whole gosh darn bag tax. Especially since it means now I will have to buy bags to put cat poop in when I’m scooping the cat box. But I hate to admit it, I am starting to feel good about not using up all that plastic. Oh, don’t get me wrong, change is still a pain in the butt, and I hate having these kinds of things rammed down my throat. And I hate having the government find more ways to reach into my wallet. But this whole reusable canvas bag thing isn’t so bad after a while.
And, I’m starting to feel less like a moron, and finding more humor in the situation. One of my best moments was seeing a man walking out of a drugstore holding tampons and band-aids. He refused a bag, and walked those tampons out proudly, yessiree! LOVE IT! You go, random I’m-too-cheap-to-pay-5 cents dude!
I laugh, but it happens to me still way more than I’d like. I’m slow like that. I’m sure most people have caught on a little faster than I have.
Except men. You don’t see a lot of men hand-carrying their purchases out of Lowes or Home Depot. I think for them, admitting that they forgot their bag is like asking directions. It’s a blow to their pride.
What is the silliest thing you have seen someone carry out to their car without bags?
As I was walking out of Hallmark with my arms filled with cards, wrap, bows& gold seals… An older woman told me I looked like a thief. 🙂
FYI…in Montgomery County..it’s ANY bag at the front eng…be it paper, plastic, a wine bag, a heavy bag for cold foods…any bag..which leads me to believe that Mont Co is after the money, not the environmental benefits…I don’t believe it’s the same in the other areas that have instituted the bag tax…
FYI…In Montgomery Country..it’s ANY bag at the front end…be it big bag, small bag, wine bag, heavy bag for cold food..and plastic bags…that’s also supposed to mean carryout bags in restaurants …including the bag they put your sub in at sub shops…to me that translates that Mont Co is in it for the money more than the environmental benefits..
by any bag..i mean paper OR plastic..LOL
I started using the reusable bags years ago and I love them now. I used to forget them all the time but now I usually have a bunch stashed by the back door to grab on my way out or already in the car. I just love how much more they fit in them at the grocery store and how much easier it is to carry them all inside. The insulated ones are really great in the summer for getting the cold stuff home. It will grow on you, I wish they had that tax here too to encourage people to switch.