60 Percent of Americans Oppose Plastic Bag Ban


While dozens of city councils throughout the US ban single-use plastic bags, such as Los Angeles CA, Washington DC, Austin TX, Reason-Rupe finds 60 percent oppose a ban on plastic bags in all grocery stores and other retailers in the city or town where they live.

When asked differently, 65 percent favor a policy that allows stores to choose if they want to provide plastic bags or not. Seventeen percent would continue to favor a complete ban on plastic bags and 13 percent would favor a tax on plastic bags without banning them.

Framed using different terms, 82 percent thought that when determining the types of bags available at grocery stores, "choices should be left to individual consumers and stores." Fifteen percent thought government should primarily determine the types of bags available. These data suggest that thinking about plastic bag bans in terms of personal choice reduces support for the ban.

According to the poll, 25 percent of Americans primarily use reusable shopping bags to carry their groceries. Among them, 50 percent favor a ban on plastic bags while 48 oppose. Nearly two-thirds of Americans (62 percent) say they primarily use plastic bags when grocery shopping and 66 percent of them oppose a plastic bag ban. Interestingly 31 percent of those who primarily use plastic bags say they would support a ban.

Nationwide telephone poll conducted May 9-13 2013 interviewed 1003 adults on both mobile (503) and landline (500) phones, with a margin of error +/- 3.7%. Princeton Survey Research Associates International executed the nationwide Reason-Rupe survey. Columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full poll results found here. Full methodology can be found here. Demographics and detailed tables are available here.

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  1. So now we know America has a 40% Jackass rate.

  2. Hw the hell else am I supposed to pick up my dog’s shit? I can always just leave it lying around, I suppose.

    1. You can use a reusable hemp-weave mini-tote bag. Sure, it will smell like a corpse’s ass, but think of Mother Gaia.

    2. I can always just leave it lying around, I suppose.

      You mean, like normal people used to?

      1. Didn’t normal people used to not have yappy little shit machine dogs in small apartments in the city?

        1. You know, they keep saying people are getting smarter, and yet people continue to prove them wrong…

  3. They did the plastic bag ban here in Seattle and it’s stupid as hell. Of course Bartell’s got exempted, and presumably any other pharmacies as well, along with convenience stores. And the five cent charge they put on paper bags just got absorbed by the supermarkets. Trader Joe’s cashiers don’t even apply the five cent charge most of the time. The same for QFC and Metropolitan.

    Basically, it was politicians jerking off for environmentalist scumbags. Which is pretty much par for the course. I used to use the plastic bags as trash bags, but now I just have my cleaning ladies bring replacement bags. You’ve saved the planet, politicians!

    1. The obsession with plastic has resulted in more than a few people being poisoned by dirty reusable grocery bags. So there is that.

      1. I just wish that one time an e.coli outbreak were linked to those stupid fucking reusable disease pits. Just once.

    2. Stop hating Gaia. Your environmental karma sucks.

    3. Trader Joe’s cashiers don’t even apply the five cent charge most of the time. The same for QFC and Metropolitan.

      I trust you reported these saboteurs to your local commissar immediately, comrade.

  4. Reusable grocery bags are extremely unhealthy. They are nothing but germ breeding containers.…..-bacteria/

  5. And lets not forget, there isn’t any reason to think plastic bags are bad for the environment other than they are man made and just seem icky I guess.

    1. Let’s also not forget that when I was in school, plastic bags were considered the environmentally friendly option because you didn’t have to kill trees to make them. Do you know how many fucking assemblies I went to whose main message was to ask for plastic bags instead of paper at the grocery store?

      1. Yup. I remember that. And it wasn’t that long ago. What the 1990s? Environmentalism is just a religion. And the worst sort of shallow fashion following kind.

      2. I remember this in the late 80’s but by 1990 or so it was already becoming trendy to ask for paper.

  6. Only 60%?

    We’re even more fucked than I initially thought.

  7. Here’s my solution: Replace all bags with robots with the capability of carrying all of our goods. The robots can be electric-powered because Gaea prefers pollution to happen at a central, rather than distributed, level.

    1. I, for one, welcome our new grocery-carrying robot overlords.

      1. And we could get robots for other tasks, like opening doors.

    2. RE electric power: Pollution caused at electric power plants can be minimized/scrubbed/sequestered more easily, effectively, and inexpensively than possible at thousands or millions of separate points of use. So, yeah, use of centrally-produced electricity is a net gain for Gaea, if you care about such things. Use of decentralized electricity production might even be better, once we figure out how to do it optimally.

  8. Plastic bags are always used twice in our house. Once to hold groceries and once to hold cat shit, preferably in that order.

    1. My dogs don’t eat anything but what I put in their bowls. I know exactly how much they eat, and, unfortunately, exactly how much they crap. So here’s my question:

      How can they crap more than they eat?

      1. Cats, too. One of earth’s mysteries.

  9. According to the poll, 25 percent of Americans primarily use reusable shopping bags to carry their groceries.


    Not even 25% of the people who shop at Whole Foods use reausable bags.

    1. Are you saying poll respondents lie about shit where they think appearances matter?!? But…but…polls!

    2. I agree–the number I see at Whole Foods doing that is much smaller.

    3. Yeah, that is laughable as hell. From my observations, I would guess it’s more like 2%.

      Those things have been proven to be a germ factories, also.

      And paper grocery bags suck ballz. They’re clumsy as hell and they will tear easily. You can carry 5 times as much with plastic bags without worrying about your stuff winding up all over the ground.

    4. Technically, every bag is reusable. Paper, plastic, or whatever.

      I have NEVER re-used a shopping bag even though 100% of the bags I use are reusable.

      So I can honestly say every shopping bag I have used was useable. The important word in that sentence is “was”.

  10. Who needs bags? I have my child servants carry each orange in white gloved hands to my cupboard.

    1. Cupboards are for poor people. I would make them hold the orange until I was ready for them to feed it to me.

  11. 65 percent favor a policy that allows stores to choose

    I favor “policies” that “allow” me to “choose” almost as much as I favor quotation marks.

  12. I find it hilarious that the plastic bag ban has led to a return of paper bags.

    Also don’t you need to clean those reusable bags to prevent getting sick? If they can be cleaned that is. So that means using more water and buying more dishwasher detergent. And don’t you have to throw those bags away? And make more of them? So good for the environment!

  13. Where was the option of “ban the reusable bags just to be a dick to the uptight environmentalists”?

  14. The whole plastic bag prohibition thing is the purest B.S. I live in Santa Cruz CA, where city and county have also jumped on the bandwagon. No plastic or paper bag in my house was ever “single use.” At very least, we always reused them as garbage pail liners or trash bags of some sort. There were also many other uses. But for the elected busybodies, there was never anything good about plastic bags, and even paper bags needed to be used far less than was previously customary. So, plastic bags are now banned outright, while we must pay a $0.10 charge for every paper bag that we opt to use. When anyone disagrees, the poobahs say, “quit whining, get used to it.” I would like to see those poobahs get used to being out of office, no whining allowed.

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