Both sides of the political debate think the other is way off in their thought patterns. The Left loves to repeat their mantra that the Right is ignorant of science. Unfortunately, it proves out that the left frequently blindly adheres to a policy developed to forward their agenda and then shames everyone else into myopically following their policies or asserts they are Neanderthals. This is the exact pattern they have followed in attempting to spread a ban of plastic bags at retailers.
I first became interested in this when I saw the burgeoning flock of do-gooders coming to the grocery store with their “reusable bags.” I would ask the store personnel how they allowed these bags to be placed on counters where my food would travel. How could the store allow a bag – which they had no idea of its prior whereabouts (i.e., the car trunk) or about when it had been last washed -- on the counter where food was being conveyed?
The bags my family took home were being used to line our trash cans or for other purposes, but almost always reused. So playing the do-gooder, I would speak to the ladies walking into the store and commend them for their environmental sensitivity for using “reusable bags.” Now that I had raised their self-esteem because someone had noticed their civic mindedness, I would then ask the ladies what they used to line their trash cans in the house. The response was always an impish “plastic trash can liners.”
When the City of West Hollywood in California enacted their own law against plastic bags, we decided to take a closer look at their decision making process. The elements of the policy, which is modeled after laws passed in other communities throughout California and other “forward looking locales,” are as follows:
1. Retail establishments are banned from using plastic bags except where specifically exempted. Restaurants and “Farmers’ markets” are exempted.
2. Retailers are encouraged to make “reusable bags” available for purchase.
3. Retailers must charge 10 cents for each paper bag supplied to the customer. Customers receiving various forms of welfare including food stamps are exempted from this charge. All funds are to be retained by the retailer to help “offset the cost” of stocking bags.