A Colorado-based Reddit user is expressing their shock over how well residents are adjusting to the state’s recent $0.10 surcharge for plastic grocery bags.
“Here in Colorado we recently made it so that plastic grocery bags are [$0.10] each,” they wrote in their post. “Next year they will be banned entirely. There are some stores that have already phased them out because it’s just easier to do it now than later.”
The Redditor says they are surprised by how little resistance they’ve seen.
“I expected people to be upset about it. We’re 25 days in and I’ve not seen a single person complain about it,” they wrote. “And it makes me wonder, how many things could we phase out without people caring too much? How many things do we currently spend money on or that we don’t need that, if banned, would just … disappear without issue?”
A number of cities and states have enacted restrictions including fees on single-use plastic bags. Eight states currently restrict the use of plastic bags — California, Delaware, Connecticut, Maine, Hawaii, Oregon, New York, and Vermont — while others, like Colorado, are working to phase them out.
According to Environment America, Americans use more than 100 billion plastic bags every year — that’s more than 300 bags per person. The average use time for plastic bags is just 12 minutes, but it takes more than 1,000 years for bags to break down in the environment.
Plastic grocery bags can pollute waterways, endanger marine life, and threaten human health as they break down into small pieces called microplastics that have been detected in human blood. Microplastic exposure is linked to various forms of inflammation as well as metabolic and immune disorders.
Other Redditors were quick to chime in on the subject.
One user wrote that bans are the right thing to do: “[It] causes minimal to no inconvenience for consumers, and systems can be set up to help integrate both vendors and consumers throughout.”
Another Redditor based in the U.K. said their country banned bags years ago, also with little apparent resistance.
“It does make me wonder what other ‘small’ changes that can be made with little to no resistance,” they wrote. “Wonder if plastic bottles could be next.”
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