Letter to the Editor, March 22, 2017: Passing Article 10 Would be Difficult for Bedford’s Seniors by Angelo Colao


By Angelo Colao

At first, I wasn’t concerned about the outcome of Article 10 at Town Meeting.  We use cloth bags with handles when we go shopping.  That is until I saw an elderly man walking with a cane in one hand and a plastic bag with handles in his other hand.

He wanted to cross the street and was walking up to the traffic light pole to press the walk switch.  He raised his hand and slid the bag onto his wrist and stabilizing himself with his cane pressed the button with the hand that was carrying the bag.  If he had a paper bag, with or without handles, he would have had to put the bag down on the walkway wet with melting snow.

This made me think about the benefit of Article 10 for elderly people.  So when I went shopping a couple of times at Stop and Shop, which has the option of paper or plastic, I asked a number of elderly people, mostly women, why they used the plastic bag for their goods instead of paper or cloth bags.  The answer was that the plastic bags made it easy for them to carry the bags to their house or apartment from the car especially when steps were involved.  They also said that the paper and cloth bags were heavy when filled and the plastic bags were smaller and, therefore, were lighter for them to carry.

As a result, Article 10 should be defeated because of the difficulty it will impose on the older generation in our Town.

I think an Article that says any establishment that has only plastic bags should provide the ‘paper or plastic’ option is more useful.  As an aside, view all the other plastic bag or plastic sheet covered items that are in a store.



  1. Yes, I disagree. Speaking from experience, plastic bags are a terrible way to carry groceries while walking any distance. With any weight in them the handles stretch and cut into your hand, and the way they’re packed means that any reasonable-sized grocery trip leaves you with a dozen bags to juggle. If you’re just getting one bag’s worth of items, it’s just as easy to bring a small canvas bag–easier, since you can get one with a strap long enough to go over your shoulder.

  2. One can buy reusable bags with handles for less than $1 each. I have seen them for sale in many grocery stores right next to the checkout line.

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