BY Kaitlin Katzenback
You are standing in line at the store, shopping cart full of different items, when suddenly you remember that plastic bags now cost money. Do you spend the extra cash on the plastic bags, or do you walk out of the store carrying your purchases?
As of Aug. 1, retailers in Connecticut are required to charge a fee of 10 cents for every plastic bag used by customers. For many students, this change has been quite an adjustment.
“At first I found myself forgetting my reusable bags for the first few weeks that the ban went into place. Now I have adjusted pretty well. I keep my reusable bags in my closet so that every time I go grocery shopping I remember them,” said junior Nicole Gomez-Nieto.
The ban has been implemented to reduce plastic waste throughout Connecticut. However, the new state law has produced mixed reactions.
“I always forget my reusable bags at home because I’m not used to the new policy just yet. It is a positive change for the environment but it could also become an inconvenience for some, especially if buying reusable bags is a hassle,” said junior Nicole Gomez-Nieto.
Many students find that the new plastic bag ban is an inconvenience.
“At first I honestly thought it was an inconvenience. If I am responsible with my plastic bags, why should I have to pay for the errors of other people?” said freshman Nicole Lemos.
Connecticut is not the first state within the United States to ban plastic bags. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Connecticut is now one of eight states to ban single-use plastic bags and implement fees.
“I feel like it is not a huge change because we have it at home, certain places in Massachusetts have it but it is not a state wide thing. It is always just a matter of remembering my reusable bags. I have bought them when I have forgotten my reusable ones, but I do prefer using the reusable bags,” said junior Lindsey McCarthy.
Many students believe that the ban will have a positive impact on the environment.
“My initial reaction to the plastic bag ban happening in Connecticut was excitement. I am definitely one to do my part in using reusable water bottles and recycling when I can, so I think it is a great idea and a huge step towards saving the earth,” said junior Shannon Malone.
Although many students agree that being environmentally friendly is important, some are unsure if charging money for plastic bags is the right approach.
“I think we are headed in the right direction, but I do not think this is the perfect solution. I think stores should maybe start to just give out reusable bags. So right now, I feel like the ban is more of an inconvenience,” said Lemos.
Despite the various stances on the new ban, shoppers will have to decide between purchasing plastic bags or using reusable ones.
“As a society, we need to come together and face the facts that we are killing our earth and those who inhabit it. By collectively reducing our plastic usage, we will only better the earth and hopefully allow future generations to see the beauty we get to today,” said Malone.