History is about to repeat itself in Maine. “Maine could lead U.S. in state ban on plastic bags,” declares the headline of Staff Writer Gillian Graham’s front-page article Feb. 24.

Over 20 years ago, Maine was the first state to ban the juice box. Remember that? We became the laughingstock of the scientific community. My colleagues questioned whether science was taught in Maine. My answer was that science was taught but common sense was not.

Here we go again! Rep. Nicole Grohoski wants to ban plastic grocery bags.

Think about a few common-sense items. Ban a lightweight plastic bag but don’t ban a heavy plastic milk jug. Ban a plastic grocery bag but don’t ban a plastic bread bag. Ban plastic straws but give away plastic syringes. As some municipalities do, ban plastic grocery bags but require plastic garbage bags for pickup. The energy required to manufacture and transport paper bags is much higher than plastic. Ban plastic to create global warming.

Wouldn’t it be nice if legislators and activists would focus their money and efforts on education, science and common sense rather than bans?

Please don’t punish most Mainers like me who responsibly reuse plastic grocery bags. Focus on education and promotion. Provide educational tools to teachers and schools. Place ads in newspapers, magazines and television in place of those nasty political ads. Teach a course in Common Sense 101 in our schools so that the next generation won’t ban useful products.

James Albright


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