Backlash on the bag ban

By Lindsey Wright

Flapjack Chronicle 

Who let the bananas out of this damp paper bag? Photo by Lindsey Wright
Who let the bananas out of this damp paper bag? Photo by Lindsey Wright

Rain soaked through to the skin, goose bumps raised despite the internal rage and frustration that is rapidly building, she scoops up her scattered groceries out of the dirt. A few houses away from a friend’s, she ditches her grubby veggies to go ask him for help, dragging with her the soggy remains of  paper bags.

On Feb. 1, the Arcata Plastic Bag ban, as approved by the Arcata City Council, was initiated. During the days following there have been many complaints about the new ban.  The effects of the ban can be most directly observed at the corporate grocery stores and convenience stores within Arcata. However, some smaller businesses and family owned stores were affected as well. Interestingly, the grocery store on campus, The Marketplace, has not yet been affected by the ban.

“We have so many plastic bags still and it would be a waste to throw them all away,” said Marketplace cashier Meghan Manibay, 22. “I don’t know what is going to happen once we run out of them, we haven’t been told that we are going to paper bags. I recommend bringing reusable totes regardless.”

The rainy season has arrived and students without cars are struggling to get their groceries back to campus or back to their homes. The rain reeked havoc  for 21-year-old Bree Drouillard when she struggled to make it to a friend’s house, a half way point to her own house from Safeway. Drouillard is a cashier at the marketplace as well.

“My house is an hour walk from the store, I had to beg my friend to drive me the rest of the way home and he helped me pick my veggies out of the dirt,” said Drouillard. When she finally made it home she questioned whether the trip had been worth it at all. 

Photo by Lindsey Wright
Photo by Lindsey Wright

Many of the Humboldt students are enthusiastic about protecting the environment. Even though students are still using plastic bags, they are creating ways to use them over again.

“As much as I love doing things that benefit the environment, the paper bags are a hassle in the rainy weather,” said Emily Reclite, a freshman at HSU. “I reuse my plastic bags as trashcan liners in my dorm room because it saves money and it is a convenient way to take my trash out.”

Reclite mentions how difficult it is to remember to bring reusable bags while living in the dorms. She is one among many HSU students who are struggling to adapt to the new ban.

Weak paper bags
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