To the editor,
There has been a lot of controversy about the local grocery store that has eliminated plastic bags (see Shoptalk, Feb. 28). People say it's a small action and if they care about the enviroment they would reduce packaging. Others said the store is trying to save money by passing on the cost of bags to consumers. I think all this is missing the point. No matter the benefits to the store or if they have gone as far as they should, this move will reduce the amount of plastic going into landfills. And even more importantly, it signals a shift in culture in favour of the environment. People have been bringing their own cloth bags to the store for 20 years---not as a huge act of revolution, but as one little thing they and others did to be better stewards of the earth. At that time they never dreamed there would come a point when the entire city would be composting and recycling and that plastic bags would be on their way out. Have we accomplished all there is to do? Of course not. But when a big grocery store feels they can make money by reducing waste, it means we have come far. The environmental movement has accomplished something huge. And while we are on to other, bigger issues, we should take a moment to celebrate this victory.
By Heather Maxwell