Last month, Muntinlupa City started a ban on the use of plastic bags, Styrofoam and styrophor (or is that styropor? I am confused). I live in the area so I saw and felt the changes personally—and instantly.

My mall life has been greatly affected, actually.

I was doing the groceries a couple of weeks ago and unaware of the ban, I was a little surprised when, after paying for my groceries, the bagger informed me about it, and asked if I wanted to buy their eco-bags for my groceries. Not wanting to spend more money, especially since I exceeded my budget for groceries, I turned him down. So I ended up with paper bags and paper bags of goods. Sure, it looked sosyal and very Stateside, but when I was already moving the bags inside the car, I realized how much of a hassle it was. Imagine if I had 10 bags and I didn’t bring a car.

The next week, I returned to the supermarket to buy some stuff. This time, since I bought a lot of stuff, I ended up with several paper bags. The bagger put them inside a huge box, which seemed like a great idea. When I had to carry it from the cart to the car, however, it didn’t feel like it was a good idea.

I’m sure some of the baggers feel the same way, especially that one who thought he did a good job fitting all the goods inside one tall box. As it turned out, the bottom wasn’t stable enough and/or there were just too much stuff inside—so the contents fell from the bottom of the box, including breakables. Poor bagger. I’m sure he had to pay for those.

Even other stores and establishments have been complying with the ban. The food court, for example, also uses paper bags now. For take-out, cardboard containers have taken the place of styro ones. Department stores also don’t put items inside plastic bags now. Instead, they wrap them in paper—like gifts. Even Burger Machine’s burgers are now wrapped in paper, not plastic.

I am a big fan of anything eco, the green movement, and the efforts to save the world. But no matter how much I want to support the plastic ban of Muntinlupa, I find myself having a hard time accepting and embracing it. There’s nothing I can do about it; I have to comply, but I can’t help but complain. Because it sure is hard to grab on to several paper bags especially if the contents are heavy, expensive and snatch-able, or wet.

I guess I’m just finding it hard to adjust and adapt. It’s actually made realize how dependent on plastic I have been after all these years. Which is sad, come to think of it.

No matter how brilliant this move is, we still have a long way to go (plastic spoons and forks aren’t included in the ban, I think), but it really is commendable how something like this has been started.

This whole green move has introduced some changes in my life, and I think I am starting to adjust to them better more and more every day. The only thing I feel sad about is how much I miss plastic bags, because I love them so much. I love lining little trash cans with plastic bags so that once they are full, it’s easy to move them to the giant trash bin outside. I love plastic bags from the supermarket because I love recycling them.

What to do now.