April 21, 2024
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April 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

What’s the Fuss Over Plastic Bags?

Sorry, but we find it really comical that there are so many complaining about the fact that the state wishes to outlaw the use of plastic bags in local stores. Is it really such a tragedy?

For years we always felt that Montreal, Quebec, and Canada in general were way behind the United States when it came to many issues.

Suddenly we are realizing that we have been so wrong, especially when it comes to issues involving the environment. We begin with our kitchen, where for at least the past 10 years no one was allowed to deposit in the garbage any waste from natural products. We had, as did every other household in Montreal, a box placed on the counter in our kitchen in which we would dispose of all peels, remnants of dinner plates, fruit pits and any and all food particles, preventing them from being thrown into the general garbage. Inside of this box were special biodegradable bags that we purchased in order to dispose of the waste as frequently as we wished, inside our separate garbage container on the side of our home. Everyone is so accustomed to doing this that it has become a ritual of life.

When the “news” broke that stores would be charging five cents for plastic bags, it became de rigueur to use canvas bags for all shopping. Occasionally we would laugh because the trunk of our car became an ocean of shopping bags. At the outset of this innovation many stores presented shoppers with “pretty” canvas bags, making sure that their logo was front and center. We do not remember a great “to do” coming from the public as a result of this. Even Costco had bags, which were humongous. Think about how much easier it would be to bring your Costco bag with you while shopping and, instead of having all your purchases floating all over in your shopping cart, they could easily be put into these canvas bags once the cashier rang them up. It sure is much faster when trying to put everything into the trunk of your car.

We remember at the beginning of the “bring your own bag phenomenon” we would see people walking down the street holding one or two bottles of wine or liquor. Without knowing, one might have assumed that there were many more alcoholics walking around holding onto their purchases. Or maybe those were the people who refused to pay five to 10 cents to the Liquor Commission in Montreal in order to put their purchases into a plastic bag. They just carried them in their arms and hoped that they did not fall.

It took a short period of time before everyone was getting out of their cars in mall parking lots and opening their trunks to remove as many canvas bags as they needed. It is for that reason that we find it impossible to understand the fury that the public and store keepers in the area are expressing as they vehemently oppose the forthcoming law. It is really not so bad! In fact, if you know that you are really doing something to enhance this great world that we live in, why would you ever oppose such an action? Granted, it is a pain to go into CVS or Walgreens to buy two tubes of toothpaste and a large bottle of mouthwash and have to add five to 10 cents for a bag. You will just have to get used to it. Or bring your own.

Women who carry large tote bags wherever they go will find that they can carry many purchases that they would never have considered putting into them. Notice some women walking down the street with salamis sticking out of their totes.

There are so many extremely important issues in the world that we need to speak up about. Really, this discussion in the overall scheme of things is so miniscule that we need to once again choose our priorities and worry about what is really important.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

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