Admit it, your stash didn't last nearly as long as you thought it would.

In a state where plastic bags once reigned supreme, it's amazing how quickly we've adapted to the plastic bag ban in Maine. The law, which has been in place for a few years now, prohibits the use of single-use plastic carry-out bags and adds a small fee to recycled paper bags and reusable plastic bags.

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As of July 1, 2021, Maine retail establishments, from your corner store to your favorite restaurant, were no longer allowed to offer single-use plastic carry-out bags. Instead, they encouraged shoppers to bring their own reusable bags. Stores can provide recycled paper bags or reusable plastic ones, with a small fee attached. 

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Remember the days before the ban? We all had that one bag stuffed with countless others, a plastic bag-ception of sorts. But since the ban, those bags have been steadily disappearing from our lives. 

WGME’s Owen Kingsley added some humor to the situation when he tweeted a couple of weeks ago: “Dear diary, it’s day 790 since the plastic bag ban went into effect. Supply of Hannaford plastic bags is running critically low. Just pulled out an old Target one. Not sure what we will use in the bathroom trashcan in the weeks ahead. If you read this, send help.”

Now, let's talk about our neighbors to the west, New Hampshire. They don't have a plastic bag ban. So, whenever visiting the Granite State, it's a bit surreal to have access to this contraband. It's like stepping back in time.

Plastic shopping bag
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So, do you miss those plastic bags or have you fully embraced life without them? Either way, it's clear that we've come a long way since the days of plastic bag hoarding.

Stunning Old School Shopping Bags

This is a huge chunk of Maine's past.

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LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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