Regarding your July 1 story “ Should Raleigh charge shoppers for using plastic bags”: Plastic bags are a menace. So say people with no realistic knowledge about the environmental costs of paper vs. plastic. We have been schooled to think plastic is more harmful to the environment than paper. Not so much. American companies are now buying all the discarded plastic from foreign salvage yards. We now recycle every plastic known to man. Paper bags actually cost more to make than plastic bags and use a lot more precious water. It costs more to recycle a paper bag than to make a new paper bag.
I love plastic bags. They allow me to carry six bags or more at once. I live up a steep hill, and paper bags mean I can only carry two bags at a time and I have to worry about the cold foods condensing, wetting the bag, tearing and spilling all my stuff on the ground.
Permanent bags – ugh. I once was a professional chef and learned to bleach surfaces after contact with meat, even some fruits and vegetables. How often do you bleach your grocery bags? I’m betting my wooden kitchen counter top is more sanitary than your reusable grocery bag.