Paper or Plastic and Demogogues
According to the story:
Leach said the bags might be useful while buying groceries, but questioned the wisdom in trading 15 minutes of convenience for 1,000 years of pollution.First of all, a properly disposed of plastic bag is not pollution. It is trash. And just because it doesn't biodegrade like a banana peel that doesn't mean plastic bags are a danger to the planet. They aren't. They are an amazingly light and convenient way to transport groceries, allowing one person to carry in one trip, perhaps twice the amount of stuff they could carry in a paper sack. Given the choice between paper or plastic, most people choose plastic for this very reason.
“We talk about sacrifice and the sacrifice of the greatest generation, and how we admire sacrifice, but we are unwilling to sacrifice even the infinitely momentary convenience of these bags, despite the environmental damage they do,” said Leach. “There are millions. They never go away. They are a form of plastic, most of them, that does not biodegrade.”
There is not a single, serious environmental reason for this war on plastic. This is all about aesthetics. For instance, recyling makes people feel virtuous but it doesn't "save the planet." It doesn't even save money in a lot of cases.
There was much to be said for the war against littering back in the 1960s. Back then people didn't talk about it saving the planet, they talked about it making their little piece of it, their neighborhood, their communities, their country look nicer. A public campaign was waged to stigmatize littering. Fines were imposed.
But a properly disposed off plastic bag is no threat to the environment. And people who say that it is, are charlatans. The busybodies who tell us that our dumps and landfills are full up, that we are running out of room for all of the garbage and trash we create are liars. If America built one landfill that was just 44 miles square and 120 feet deep it could handle all the garbage we produce for the next 1,000 years.
Of course, because it would be too expensive to truck all that garbage to one place, we build much, much smaller landfills all around the country. When we fill them up, we cover them over, plant grass and trees and make parks out of them.
Daylin Leach and his eco-friends scoff at the convenience plastic bags provide the millions of people in this country who live in cities and walk their groceries home.
The "infinitely momentary convenience" is how Leach awkwardly describes it. What he is promoting is inconvenience for inconvenience sake. These eco-goofs aren't asking for shared sacrifice for any worthwhile cause - to defend democracy, to free the oppressed, to promote human liberty. They simply want to impose a tax on things and behavior they find unpretty. They want to clerks and store owners to have to collect it and turn it over to the government.
It is their behavior that is objectionable, intrusive and unattractive.
UPDATE: From the comment section Novemberose sez:"
UMMM - so are you also going to be taxed for each plastic item you put IN your plastic bag too? I mean the companies & supermarkets package their items in plastic (lunchmeat from deli, meats, fresh produce etc) And does the senator plan to tax children for each toy they purchase in plastic bubble packs? Plastic grocery bags aren't the ONLY plastic things in landfills. I mean what ARE you supposed to put your trash in? At lease we recycle the plastic bags and use them for trash. Guess that senatorial brain storm will be in another update courtesy of our tax dollars paying him to think up these things that how many others have thought of... AND if people are taxed for choosing plastic - where exactly is that money going - I mean REALLY going? Wonder if the Senator signed his name to this proposal with a disposable plastic pen that will be tossed when empty? (being very sarcastic through all) Pardon me while I'm off to Wawa to get some coffee in a plastic cup on my way to work, then eat my sandwich at lunch which was wrapped in plastic... "Typical Scorpio; smart, sexy and to the point.