To the editor:

Speaking with a cashier at Walmart the other day, I became greatly distressed when she offered a .98 reusable grocery bag. She said the plastic grocery bags are not going to be used any longer after a certain point ... and it's happening at Kroger, too.

This may not seem like a big deal to well organized people who don't mind keeping a stash of these bags in their vehicle and then make sure to remember to take them back to the vehicle after being unloaded.

But to people like me who often impulse shop, who make a quick unplanned run to the market to pick up a few items (and may not have restocked their vehicle with said reusable .98 bags), it is a big deal.

I understand the concerns to the marine environment etc., but there are alternative choices for plastic grocery bags other than reusable ones. Long ago, paper bags were just fine, then the hysteria of the destruction of trees, which by the way, are a renewable source, brought about flimsy plastic grocery bags.

But now there is a consumer friendly, environmental friendly compostable product available which would not pose the consumer problems, as I have described, and would remove the threat to animal and marine life.

Unlike standard plastic bags, and even some biodegradable plastic bags, compostable bags are made of vegetable matter, such as corn or potato starch. When exposed to enough moisture, the bags will compost, right along with whatever was placed inside them. So there you have it, a solution that works for everybody plus opening a new market for agricultural products!

It's quite disconcerting that the "powers that be" do not take into consideration all of the consumer issues created by shortsighted or lesser knowledgeable people that make changes to our everyday lives.

Right now, my suggestion to Walmart, Kroger and any other retail entities fixing to make this change — use compostable grocery bags and help the environment, help the consumer and help create an expanded agricultural industry.

Also, equally distressing is the fact of reducing cashier lanes, thereby reducing jobs. How does that seem a good way to go for the economy? But we'll leave that discussion for another time.

Joan Forrest

Waterloo

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