Letters to the Editor

Please switch to reusable grocery bags

I write today to encourage my neighbors in Black Mountain to switch from disposable grocery bags to reusable bags. While you may think your disposable bags don’t make much of a difference, take a moment and estimate how many you use each year. Ten a week? That’s 520 each year. Multiply that by approximately 3,000 households in our community, and we have a conservative estimate of 1.5 million disposable grocery bags used each year in Black Mountain alone!

It takes oil to produce these bags, a nonrenewable resource. Wouldn’t we like to be less dependent on oil? And while many people do recycle their grocery bags, it turns out this kind of plastic is very expensive to recycle, so many of those bags end up in the landfill. Another 300 million end up in the Atlantic Ocean annually, resulting in the death of many sea creatures. Truly the best option is to quit using the plastic bags.

Using reusable bags becomes an easy habit — just keep a few in your car and grab them when you go into the store. I realize this will require an initial purchase by the customer, but I believe it is a small price to pay for a big benefit to our environment. You can even make the switch gradually so you don’t have to spend a lot of money all at once.

Pam King

Black Mountain