Reversal of plastic bag ban in Haverhill, MA

Reversal of plastic bag ban in Haverhill, MA

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Kathy Resident started this petition to Haverhill City Counselors

03/02/2019 -

Our city government made a decision for it's residents that was not in the best interest of the city, the people in it or the businesses that the ban will adversely affect.

This imposition was implemented and became "enforceable" on February 7, 2019.  For those concerned with the environment, you could have continued to return your bags to the stores to be recycled or you could have just avoided using plastic bags.  They are not one-time use bags! Paper bags, on the other hand, are one time use because they tear so easily and go in the trash because they are bulky to keep around and take up too much space. You can fit many of the plastic bags inside just one and keep them anywhere. This could backfire because if people start throwing them away it could cost the city more in trash pick up because of the added weight. If they are in the trash and get wet they could become quite heavy. Just saying... I would have to guess that a vast majority possibly up to 90% of people reuse those plastic bags for different things from picking up their dog's waste while out on a walk, using them for garbage from foods that would otherwise cause a stink if placed straight in the kitchen trash, using them for a wet bathing suit and towel after the kids hit the pool at the gym and many other purposes.

To me, plastic bags are necessary at the supermarket and here are a few, but not all of the reasons why...

1)  When purchasing meat, the cellophane sometimes provides a channel for blood to leak despite how tightly they think it's wrapped.  Frequently, I've come home to small puddles of blood in the bottom of the plastic bag.  Just imagine those same meats in a single paper bag on the carpet in your nice car which has now become blood-soaked. Imagine the stench in the heat and the bacteria which is now in your car's carpet. If you don't realize it, when you pick it up after the bottom of the bag has become saturated, the bottom of the bag will let go the second you lift it and if it hasn't by the time you reach the counter, you can put that bag on the counter with the blood absorbed into the paper bag and you don't realize it until you empty the last piece out of the bag. Gross.  Even grosser is if you rested the bags against your hip or on your forearm, the blood is now on your clothes! 

2)  With the plastic bags, you can put multiple bags on each arm by placing the handles over your forearm.  With a paper bags, depending upon your age, strength and ability, you might hold two bags side-by-side in each arm to bring your groceries in. I had a hard enough time with one bag in each arm walking across the front of the house trying to open the storm door to get inside the front porch.  I made 5 trips back and forth to the vehicle where with plastic bags would have been 2, MAYBE one.  Putting them down without slamming them to the ground is tricky. If you try to pick them up by the sides on the top by folding them over,  your fingers go right through them, the bag tears instantly depending upon how heavy they are and you're groceries go all over the place. This happened to me after hiatus from shopping because of the implementation of this bag ban.  I tried it once, it failed miserably all around and I will not do it again.

3)  In a big city where people either walk to the supermarket or take the bus because they don't have a car, this demographic are going to find this very challenging.  If you take a bus, you can rest your groceries on the floor or on the seats next to you if it's not busy, with your hands through the handles to jump up when your bus arrives at your stop. With paper bags you have to pick up each individual bag and can't really put them on the floor. Imagine those who have to walk to the supermarket to do their weekly shopping. You can't carry too many paper bags in your arms. Imagine it raining or snowing and having to walk to the supermarket. Your bags would be coming apart before long and your groceries would just fall out - what do you do then?  Forget an umbrella... I saw a man 2 weeks ago, who lived in a high rise across the parking lot, across the street, across a busy intersection from one of our supermarkets.  I don't know how he did it, but he had a paper bag in each arm and another paper bag stacked on top of each of those, carrying them stacked, two high.  His face was covered and he had to try to look around the bags to cross the street. He was struggling to balance them and I thought once he might drop them. I sat at a red light and watched this man and became even more irate at this bag ban as this was one of my reasons for not wanting the ban as that came true before my eyes.

4)  I have been avoiding our local supermarket for the whole month of February 2019.  I knew I'd have WAY too many bags, they would likely rip and they'd prove difficult to carry into the house.  (I was correct on all offenses)  My husband goes frequently during the day to get things here and there.   I try to do a bigger shopping to stock up on canned goods and other stuff every couple to few weeks.  Well, I dreaded it, but I said I can't knock it til I try, so I can speak based on FACTS.  I won't do it again.  If he wants to get a few things at a time as we need them, great.  I will cross the border for food now instead of just taxables.   The state drives us out of state by raising taxes and our city has now pushed us north for food.  I can't imaging the loss of sales at MB.  :( 

5)  I witnessed last night for the first time just how much delay this causes.  My concern for the delay was confirmed by the baggers/cashiers around me.  They hate it, too.  The paper bags are very deep and you have to reach way inside to get your stuff to the bottom without dropping it in.   Your sleeves get caught on the top as you try to reach in, for each bag, you have to reach and separate them from the pile, unfold and open it, prop it up and hope it doesn't fall over as there's no frame supporting it.  Once you cover the whole inside floor of the carriage, you now have to stack them on top of each other crinkling the bags and folding them over, weakening the tops for those attempting to be brave enough to fold over a corner and carry at their sides.  They tear easily!!   Almost each bag I attempted to ackwardly lift, tore.  My thumb went right through it.   It wasn't pretty carrying bags into the house.  

I am sure many have their own reasons for not wanting this ban.  These are top on my list, but there are more reasons...  Please support this request to reverse the ban on plastic bags in Haverhill, MA.  

 

 

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