Even though when polled, most consumers are opposed, it looks like Portland is a heartbeat away from becoming the first community in Maine to effect a plastic bag tax. Five cents per bag, which goes to the merchant, yet they still oppose it.

Before the anti-bag movement spreads to surrounding communities, let’s collect our thoughts and think about it.

First and foremost, 90 percent of consumers re-use their bags. Do you know anyone who doesn’t? Secondly, even if they are disposed of, they are recyclable.

Do some wind up in trees, and other places they shouldn’t be? Absolutely, but the vast majority get re-used and/or disposed of properly.

And what very few speak of is sanitation. How many people do you know who are washing their reusable bags? Week after week, after holding food products, some exposed like produce, they get emptied at home and tossed back in the trunk to percolate that bacteria in a hot car.

To say nothing of what must be thousands of jobs in the bag-making industry. This is just one more feel-good ordinance to make us all feel we’re so environmentally hip, when realistically, it does more harm than good.

Bill Thomas, Sanford