Friday, April 1, 2016

Dime Bags? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Dime Bags

Just what was the Cambridge City Council smoking when they passed the new dime bag ordinance which took effect on March 31, 2016, April Fools' Day Eve?

The new rules were very helpfully explained on this sign at the supermarket checkout:

This version appeared at the pharmacy checkout and at all manner of retail stores across the city ("Together, we can reduce waste and protect the environment"):

In other words, those evilly convenient "single use plastic bags" with the easy-to-carry handles are banned. You can still ask for a paper bag:

That will cost you a dime plus a penny for sales tax, if you accurately declare the number of bags you are taking at the self check-out:

Or, you can bring your own bag. I now have six, three cloth and three heavy plastic, as a couple of well-meaning charitable organizations keeping sending me bags. But there is a lot of material in one reusable, so having six reduces the net savings for the environment:

Stores can substitute compostable plastic bags made from materials "capable of undergoing biological decomposition in a compost site such that the material breaks down into carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds and biomass at a rate consistent with known compostable materials." But so far, stores are having none of that, and the old plastic bad dispensers at the checkout are empty:

You can still get some plastic bags for free. The Cambridge City Council didn't have the nerve to eliminate or charge for the plastic bags you get at the supermarket in the produce or meat aisles:

These also qualify under an exception for bags without handles, because it's that little extra plastic in the handle which makes the bag easier to carry that is evil:

You can make your own handle (don't tell the Cambridge City Council):

My problem is that I have been reusing those bags with plastic handles for lining my trash cans and garbage disposal. It's been years since I have purchased a box of trash or garbage bags - if I have to start again, that's an unintended consequence. Fortunately, I have a secret stash of contraband:

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