Sunday, August 9, 2009

That's Not My Bag Baby

Both San Francisco and LA have decided to ban plastic bags, but the measures weren't decided by popular vote. Next it's Seattle turn to decide if plastic and paper bags are so bad that the city of Seattle must charge 20 cent per bag tax, but why stop there?

We were thinking that maybe Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco could make some money on all those disposable diapers that really clog up the landfills. They could tax an extra 20 cents per diaper for those.
What about Starbucks? Shouldn't there be a charge for the disposable cups they use and maybe an extra tax for each lid? How about the plastc cover on newspapers (like in our photo) What about plastic from the fast-food crowd, shouldn't they also be taxed in this effort to modify our behavior? All those plastic garbage bags need a tax as well and all the plastic water bottles, that's a lot of plastic, 20 cent tax for each bottle.
To Go containers, plastic wrap, freezer bags, shrink wrap, soda bottles, the list is endless, just think of all the tax money to be collected.

With the arrival of reusable grocery bags, there appeared to be, at long last, a definitive "eco-friendly" answer to that question posed daily to consumers: "Paper or plastic?" Alas, it was not to be. Researchers recently discovered that the supposedly green alternative actually harbors bacteria, mold and other unappetizing organisms, albeit "natural."
Whole Foods announced plans to discontinue the use of conventional plastic bags, although the store will sell upscale ones for 99 cents apiece (or canvas ones for $6.99 to $35).
The effective endorsement of paper over plastic has offended some green groups who argue that such moves lack an objective basis.

Conventional wisdom holds that plastic bags -- being synthetic -- are environmentally destructive, while paper bags -- the spawn of trees -- are the greener option. But "life cycle" analyses of both products indicate that bags made from paper require more energy to produce, create more pollutants and take up considerably more landfill space than plastic bags.

Perhaps it would be "greener" to just cary our food out in our arms when we leave the store, using no bags at all, that would solve the problem, would it not?