It started in San Francisco (of course it did). Now, it's spreading to my hometown. (via Michael Graham)
Since when did plastic become the most important thing on everyone's minds?
Let's skip ahead, though, to the last two paragraphs of this piece, as it clearly illustrates why this measure supported by 9 of the 12 members of the City Council is over-reaching and unnecessary (emphasis mine):
"Still, the production of paper bags produces more water and air pollution than plastic bags, according to the EPA, which promotes the use of reusable bags. Paper bags also take up more space in landfills."
"Boston has a recycling program, which in 2005 recovered 17 percent of the 302,000 tons of waste generated by the city. But the city does not accept plastic bags in its program, instead encouraging residents to take the bags back to the retailer."
Here's a hint: why not accept plastic bags instead of charging consumers for using them? Why not accept plastic bags instead of charging supermarkets to come up with more expensive ways to package groceries, a hit the consumer will eventually feel in his wallet anyway?
Because it's all about the money, not the environment. It's always about the money.
Michael Graham is hysterical in his commentary, and manages to point out the lunacy of this idea:
"Meanwhile, State Sen. Brian Joyce is trying to get rid of the plastic bags statewide. His plan is to charge shoppers up to 15 cents per bag if they choose plastic over paper. Doesn't this insensitive earth-hater know that paper bags come from TREES! Why, every paper bag I choose is equal to at least a dozen 'one-square' visits to the potty by Sheryl Crow."
Here's Debbie Schlussel's incisive insight from the San Francisco measure:
"...It's not like people who live, frequent, or shop in San Francisco don't have plastic bags from other cities and suburbs, or get plastic bags from clothing, electronics, and other types of stores, which aren't covered by the silly measure.
"And have fun carrying biodegradable bags made of corn and potato starches in the rain--they'll melt and your purchases will roll around on the ground. That'll hardly eliminate waste. It will only increase it. Way to go, San Francisco."
Way to go, Boston.