Ban Bags on Single Item Food Purchases in New York!

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Millions of bags are wasted in New York each day on takeout food purchases (truly on all purchases but today we’re focusing on food).

We’ve all seen it, and we’ve all done it. We order one item to go, pay for it, reach in, take the item out and throw the bag away immediately.

What service did the bag actually provide for us in this transaction? A temporary storage place for the unusually large wad of napkins (in excess to our actual needs) that we could easily grab from a dispenser on the way out? Did it make it infinitely easier for us to grip the single item as we take it on our way? Of course not. It’s a waste! Think of how many trees we could save and how much waste we could avoid if we banned bags on single item food purchases. 

I’ve spoken to store owners and they often want to reduce this waste too but receive complaints from people when they’ve tried. But why are people complaining? Because they’re used to it? Because they are lazy? There’s no logic in it. If you can carry a bag, you can carry an item.

Some people will say they want the convenience of slipping a bag over the wrist. But store owners that only use paper bags without handles receive this complaint, too. So it seems that the complaint comes from a place of preference. And if that’s the case, have those individuals who “prefer” to have a bag, pay extra for it!

Let’s stop catering to the wasteful and lazy and do something positive for the earth here. And hopefully other cities will follow suit.