Here is something worth discussing, the now $0.25 it will cost for a plastic bag from a grocery store, which started January 15, 2010. We all remember when both Extra Foods in town raised the price of these plastic bags from nothing to $0.10, but now all three grocery stores will be charging $0.25 for a bag. That is 1/4 a dollar.
I can understand why this might be done. It is an environmental move to persuade people to switch to tote bags which can be reusable. I can tell you here in my house with have about 15 floating around and probably more in the van if we forget the ones in the house. Over the past year we have collected them from businesses around town giving them away as promotional items. The 2009 Yellowknife Trade Show had them everywhere as well as the YK75 celebrations. I actually like these bags, they are useful in may ways. They are a lot stronger than plastic bags which allows them to be used for many more tasks.
Although there are many uses for the tote bags, I started to think about some of the uses of the plastic bags. Sometimes I don’t think we realize but most of us actually did/do reuse them. The one task that I can think of that will need a new solution is the cleaning of cat litter. I have actually talked to several people who also reused these plastic bags for this task among other things around there house. Another scenario that comes to mind when thinking about the cost of the bags, is how much will we end up paying for bags when we think of something we need at the store while were on our way home. Or when we need to pick up a few items unexpectedly and don’t have our tote bags with us. If I had a quarter every time that happened… well I guess I would be buying a bag with it.
The other thing that was unclear to me up until writing this post was where the money is going. Now that all three grocery stores in town have adapted this new price change you may be thinking that the Territorial Government is behind it, If you did then you are right. I have been told that the Bag Fee goes into ENR’s Environmental Fund. This is the same as the non-refundable part of the beverage container fee. You can find out more information about the Single-Use Retail Bag Program in this PDF, starting on page 32. If you know what the Environmental Fund is for we’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Now over to you, Yellowknife, tote bags have been around for some time now and many use them. Will this transition effect you? If so how? Did you reuse the plastic bags, like many other people, how did you use them? Do you think this is a good thing to enforce over all?
We’d love to hear what others think about this change, leave your opinion in the comment section below.