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Should Plastic Shopping Bags Be Banned? [POLL]

Reusable shopping bags
David McNew, Getty Images

Several southern Maine communities have banned the use of plastic shopping bags, so we’re interested to hear what you think. Should they be banned altogether?

Saco is the latest community to ban plastic shopping bags, joining York, Kennebunk, and Freeport, with a new ruling that will go into practice in about 7 months. Critics of the bags point to the fact that they’re not biodegradable, create litter, and are harmful to marine ecosystems. In Portland and South Portland, it’s legal to use plastic shopping bags but it costs the buyer extra. The communities have adopted fees for single-use plastic and paper bags.

The alternative, obviously, is for shoppers to start carrying their own reusable bags whenever they’re planning a trip to the market or retailer. Or for stores to start carrying plastic bags that are biodegradable, but I’d guess they’re more expensive and so not financially attractive to most companies.

I love my reusable bags, but often find that I buy more groceries than they can hold. Or I forget them at home on the day I’m planning to shop. I can see both sides of the argument, so I’m interested to know what you think. Should Maine ban the use of the single-use plastic bags?

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