I fully support the reduced plastic bag usage policy, even though it does cause some inconvenience to shoppers. I think we should not let our convenience affect future generations and we need to start protecting our environment as much as we can.
When I was small, we hardly had any plastic bags. Whatever rubbish or even grocery was wrapped in newspapers. If people could survive then,and survived we have, there is no reason why we cannot do away with using lesser plastic.
In the States, which is the biggest energy user, the use of paper bag is widespread.
Paper can be easily recycled. Not all plastic can. That is reason enough for us to use less plastic.
Speaking about energy conservation, perhaps energy producers should introduce a different way of charging energy usage. During peak hours, charge higher and during non peak hours, the rate should be cheaper, just like telecommunication companies.
Many people in the west, including the author of the World is Flat Thomas Frieldman, are advocating a better system of producing and charging the users. As it is, power producers have to produce more than what is necessary during peak hours just to cater for a reserve margin, and this reserve energyy is wasted.
If there is a more intelligent way of detecting the peak demand and thus producing just enough ( or just slightly more) so that there is always enough energy but at the same time not too excessive so that wastage is reduced, then there should be much lesser usage of energy and this will at least give the world a breathing space.
To the consumers, if energy rate is charged according to peak or off peak, then we can reduce our usage during peak hours (like day time when most offices turn on their air conditioning, and most factories functioning at top capacities), and turn on our washing machines, kettles, irons and so on during off peak ours. All these can actually be done by computer micro chip technology, and intelligent energy production and usage will probably be the next innovation that can keep economic growth progressing.
We really need to think out of the box now since energy sources like coal, petroleum and natural gas are depletable substances.