Thoughts on the Proposed Croton Plastic Bag Ban

The following letter was published in this week’s issue of the Gazette.

To the Editor,
While shopping in ShopRite on Sunday, September 9, 2018 at approximately 10:00 a.m., I did a quick observation of those who were bagging their groceries at the registers. By a clear 10-1 margin, the majority of people were using the plastic ShopRite grocery bags and had not brought their own washable totes or dirty non-washable bags. Clearly the majority of people are speaking loudly and clearly with their choices. Unfortunately, a vocal and militant minority of residents and non-residents are demanding (their word) that the rest of us acquiesce, by the force of law, to do what they feel is best for all of us. Plastic grocery bags must be banned, and paper bags must be heavily taxed beyond reason. The current “bad” behavior of the majority is unacceptable to the minority, and nothing less than a complete surrender to the minority’s feelings is allowed.


I reuse my grocery bags for my garbage. If, or should I say when, the new plastic bag ban goes into effect, I will need to buy an equal number of plastic garbage bags and also purchase enough reusable grocery bags for each family car. In essence, more than doubling the number of bags I now require to grocery shop and throw garbage out. These additional bags will be an added financial burden for my family and create further harm, not less harm to the environment. If I use the non-washable bags, they will need to be replaced on a regular basis, as recommended by many health professionals, to prevent illness. If I buy expensive washable totes, I will need to use additional electricity, water, and soap to keep them clean and bacteria free. All of these additional bags will need to be manufactured and then transported by truck. The environment will not “be saved” but in reality, will be harmed by the need for the additional bags.

Has the Village or the vocal minority done any studies to determine why Croton residents are choosing to not purchase and bring their own reusable grocery bags? Do people throw out their ShopRite plastic grocery bags or recycle them or reuse them? What will be the added costs to all residents if they need to spend their hard earned and their limited money on garbage bags and dirty and bacteria laden reusable grocery bags? Exactly how many and what percentage of Croton ShopRite plastic grocery bags are floating in our rivers and littering our Croton streets?

While I applaud all who are concerned about our environment and I don’t doubt their sincerity, we all have differing needs and solutions. I too care about the environment and the health of our shared earth. I may choose to use a plastic bag for my groceries and reuse it for garbage, but I may not drive or fly as many miles per year as some others may choose to. Perhaps my home is smaller. Perhaps I have fewer children. Perhaps I have fewer tv’s, computers, and electronic gadgets. Perhaps my yard is a natural/low maintenance landscape and not a grass landscape that needs constant maintenance with carbon spewing lawn mowers and carbon spewing leaf blowers. We could all compare each other’s life style choices and each demand the other do exactly as we choose to do. That would be a truly scary world, and it appears we are heading ever closer.

Sadly, I have no doubt that my thoughts and concerns will fall on deaf ears. It appears the Village Board is determined to enact a plastic bag ban without doing reasonable and necessary studies. The Board appears to be listening to and in agreement with an extremely vocal minority without attempting to understand the legitimate and reasonable concerns of the majority.


Carolyn Whiting