Proposed Law would Ban Plastic Bags in Arkansas

A state legislator wants to bag the use of plastic bags in Arkansas supermarkets. Republican Rep. Denny Altes filed the bill Thursday.Hawaii and several counties in California as well as nationwide have already taken similar action. Arkansas's law would encourage folks to use paper or switch to re-usable bags.One grocery store manager says paper is three times as costly, and the majority of his customers prefer plastic. On an average day, Edward's Food Giant in Little Rock will use about 5,000 plastic bags. Most, according to Rep. Altes, will wind up in a landfill.Customer Mara D'Amico was one of the few who didn't choose plastic Friday. "In terms of plastic bags, I don't always know where to bring them. If I do want to recycle them, then it's an extra trip," said D'Amico.D'Amico is in favor of banning the bags but thinks it might be tough to convince most shoppers."It may upset some people because that's what they're used to, but I think that's probably a good way to show people that that's not the best thing for the environment," said D'Amico.{} {}That may be so, but one Edward's checkout lane employee says it's convenience, not conscientiousness that moves the checkout lane."They're just not that into it. Just whatever is here to put the groceries in at the time of purchase is what they want."If the bill passes, the law would go into effect January 2014 and would impact supermarkets, stores larger than 10,000 square feet with a pharmacy, and convenience stores that sell food.