Letter: Bag ordinance a good idea

I recently read that Mayor Marty Walsh is opposed to the idea of a five-cent store bag fee as making no sense. I beg to differ. It would definitely reduce waste across the city. I totally agree with the idea being pushed by District 6 City Councilor Matt O’Malley. It does work and I have seen it work.

As someone who has seen this idea work well for the past several years down in Austin, Texas, I know it can work up here, too. Most people start off opposing the idea as another form of government overreach, but even in Texas, the idea caught on after giving the idea a chance to work.

When I vacation down in Austin with my family, I always take my own shopping bags. The H.E.B. Supermarkets down there sell their own recyclable bags for 25 cents a piece. Shoppers always take them with them to shop and the whole idea is now quite acceptable.

The mayor questions the five-cent fee. It has nothing to do with the price of the plastic bag, it has to do with changing the plastic mindset. When I was growing up there were no plastic shopping bags at the check out line, everything was placed into paper bags which folks found other uses for after getting home. Plastic bags have no real other use except as pooper bags for dog owners.

I do not find it a hardship to carry my own bags to the supermarket. As for giving free bags to the poor or elderly, no need for that. Austin doesn’t do it and neither should Boston. How hard is it to carry a shopping bag inside the store. It won’t break anyone’s bank and it empowers people to do the right thing. It is silly to think to worry about.

By the way, the bag ban in Austin applies across the board and not just supermarkets. It goes for department stores like Target because the idea is to target waste. Most folks now recycle but those damn plastic bags are totally useless and often end up on the streets or flying through the air in a strong wind.

Boston can do this. It isn’t brain surgery.

Sal Giarratani

East Boston

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