Mark your calendars with whatever character or word you choose,but make sure it is written with a big red marker on Friday, March 1, 2013. There will no longer be reusable plastic bags or paper bags within the city of Austin. Imagine going to HEB for your weekly food shopping adventure and not remembering the bag ban. This day will be a turning point for all of us here in the capitol city.
Having just come home from my HEB food journey, I had to quickly put away the frozen foods before sitting down to remind you of this life altering day that somehow will become a part of our daily routines. While HEB gave each customer one free reusable bag today, I realized how shopping for everything is going to change in a major way.
Stopping by Subway's on the way home, I asked them about the bag ban. The servers said that as of March 1st, there will be no bags given out at all. So in other words, here is your sub but you have to carry it out with your drink and chips in your hands or bring in a reusable bag. This is getting stranger by the minute. Now I am going to have to make sure that I always wear a rather large bag wherever I go, make sure whatever I am wearing has a few pockets and carry a reusable bag. Mind boggling to say the least. Last stop before I got home, was Walgreen's. And you know the rest.
There is not going to be any place in Austin that we can go shopping without being armed with reusable bags. You would think that more retailers would be distributing free reusable bags during the entire month of February to remind us of doomsday and to advertise for them as well. No such luck; you are going to have to spend your hard earned money on several reusable bags. Don't fret too much though. HEB does promise that there will be an emergency option. If you forget about the bag ban, they will charge you $1.00 for a bag for your groceries. Wait! What if you need three or four bags? Now this is getting serious.
Many of us have chosen to forget that on March 2, 2012 the Austin City Council passed a city-wide bag ban. It is one of the largest bag bans in the nation. Paper and plastic bags will be banned as of Friday. My advice is to go to HEB several times in the next week and be sure to get your free reusable bag. By the end of the week, you may just have enough bags to get some of the groceries you need. It does not seem likely that you will be able to buy all the items on your shopping list. While this made sense if you did not have the available money to do so, now we are being put in the position of not having enough reusable bags to buy what we need.
Another thought I have is in regards to our cats. We use those disposable plastic bags for cleaning the cat liter. What am I going to use now? Being a lover of plastic bags of any kind, I have enough saved for about one month but then what? Will Hefty come out with new cat liter disposable bags or will we have to use storage size ziplocs?
This leads me to how the bag ban does not make much sense at all. We will still be buying plastic garbage bags, plastic storage bags, plastic bottles, plastic cups, plates, utensils and so on. Why not just put a ban on all plastic goods? Instead, we can buy these plastic items but the city of Austin can not bag them for us in the same disposable plastic we throw our garbage in. Time to call it a night. I have to get up early tomorrow. I just may have to go to HEB a few times during the one day I have free to get some reusable plastic bags, free of charge. Or do as a cashier told me to do; "go to Round Rock or any other city nearby and you can still go grocery shopping and have your items bagged for you." What a great idea. Pflugerville is not far away at all. And I can get all the bags I want. At least I have two choices now. I'll sleep on this one and decide tomorrow. I just wanted to share this with you to prepare you for Friday's bag ban in Austin. Talk about keeping Austin weird is usually a wonderful thing; but this kind of weird is just a bit too much to handle. Pardon the pun and good luck!