As of today, Dallas’ much beleagured “ban” on plastic grocery bags is officially over. Despite impassioned pleas from Dwaine Caraway, lover of trees, you can now resume shoving individual items into as many brown plastic Kroger bags as you damn well please. Despite this newfound freedom, you should still take your own damn grocery bags to the store.
There are a number of serious, important reasons to consider abandoning plastic bags altogether, but those are complicated and involve math and science. If you need a real, practical reason to give up your addiction, consider the dolphins, or any of these other totally important arguments as to why plastic bags are the actual worst.
Plastic bags are bad for the environment
If you haven’t already been persuaded by all the gross, wet grocery bags that flooded neighborhoods after weeks of torrential downpour, plastic bags have a legitimate effect on the environment, according to science. One trillion bags are used across the globe each year, and they contribute to pollution in countless ways. They pollute waterways, and, as Dwaine Caraway says, get stuck in trees and make parks look ugly. If you want to be the one responsible for making our parks look ugly because you’re too damn lazy to leave a bag in your car, be our guest.
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Plastic bags suck at carrying groceries
If the environmental argument doesn’t sway you, consider the practicality of plastic grocery bags. They are terrible at carrying home heavy things, and have a real propensity to break at the most inopportune times. Have you ever been standing in the middle of your apartment parking lot looking like an asshole with eggs rolling around between the cars because your $13 Whole Foods canvas or nylon reusable bag split without warning? We didn’t think so.
Plastic bags make you look like a loser
Plastic bags are so 2006. Environmentalism is chic, and if there’s anything that Dallas hates, it’s being totally out of touch. You can buy designer grocery bags from Kate Spade and Marc Jacobs, you know. If you’re going to continue to keep using these unsightly plastic nightmares, you might as well strap on a pager and drag those bell-bottoms out of the closet because you are so behind.
Plastic bags kill dolphins
It is a well-documented fact that dolphins die every year from eating or otherwise encountering plastic bags, and if you continue to use them, you’re basically killing a dolphin every time you go to the grocery store. No matter how well you separate your recycling, the likelihood is that your bag will go directly to kill at least one dolphin, maybe two. Or maybe it will strangle a few sea turtles as it floats out to garbage island.
Plastic bags cost you money
Even though they’re not collecting that five cents at the point of purchase anymore, you’re still paying to have all those plastic bags picked out of Dwaine Caraway’s trees and the side of the road. Cleaning up roadside litter cost the state of Texas $47 million in 2013 alone, and you can bet that plenty of that was dedicated to picking up plastic bags. If you’re really a “fiscal conservative,” you’ll want to crack down on those taxes that are needed to fund TxDOT’s litter cleanup projects, right?