A state task force put out a report last week analyzing the plastic bag problem, hoping to find ways to keep the bags from fouling our environment, and it really didn't come up with any recommended solutions for how to deal with them.
It kind of boggles my mind that we are in this situation as a population, that government has to "study" such a simple issue. There are easy steps to take to solve (or at least significantly lessen) this problem, rather than having government agencies spend time, effort and money trying to awaken our slumbering and often brain-dead population about it.
1) Many stores give away reusable shopping bags. Put a couple in your vehicle for trips to the grocery store.
2) Recycle the plastic bags that you are given at department stores or other merchants. All stores that give out disposable plastic bags are supposed to have bins for depositing them for recycling. Price Chopper, WalMart, Target, JC Penney all do, from what I have seen. Once every few weeks, stuff them together and put them in said bins.
Voila. You have just helped the environment.
(And yes, I am well aware that we distribute our newspapers in plastic bags. They are recyclable, and re-usable, too. But again, it takes a tiny bit of effort.)
Sadly, this is another problem that comes down to the public being aware, and engaged in taking fairly simple action to help address it. But many somehow aren't even aware that this problem exists, or that there are such simple steps to address it.
-- Don Lehman