SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Going to the grocery store might become a different experience if a growing trend comes to Massachusetts.
Single use plastic bags have been a staple of the grocery store experience since 1977, but that is changing across the nation .
No doubt you've used a one-use plastic bag at some point in your life. They're light, they're durable and in places like Hawaii, Los Angeles and North Carolina's Outer Banks...they're being banned.
"A lot of the ocean side communities have banned them because they tend to find their way into streams and water ways and in that way can cause a sort of pollution effect or litter effect," Springfield DPW.
Plastic bags aren't just an environmental issue, they're very difficult to recycle.
At one of the Materials Recycling Facilities (MRF) on Tremont Street in the City of Springfield, they actually have to schedule staff specifically just to pull out these plastic bags before they cause problems.
The bags get caught in recycling machinery and can't be recycled the way cans and bottles are.
More environmentally friendly options are out there; reusable bags or paper bags.
"I like these bags, they hold a lot more. When I was taking home the plastic bags I found they would pile up and I would just end up throwing them out. It's obviously better for the environment to use the reusable ones," said Carol Clark of West Springfield.
"It's about what the consumer wants, if they want to use plastic...great. For some people it's easier to use the reusable bags if they're 'environmentally friendly' as they say. But personally I think it should be left up to them," said Jeremy Lantaigne of Springfield.
In Massachusetts it might not be left up to the consumer for long.
In the State Legislature's Environmental Committee, there's a bill that would require retail bags to be compostable. Voting on the bill in that committee happens on June 15th.