What’s Up With That?
An ordinance went into effect on Jan 1, 2015 in Palm Springs that makes it illegal for stores to provide “single use” plastic bags to customers. Instead they must sell customers a recycled paper bag at a minimum cost to 10 cents, or the customer must supply their own bag, which can be purchased at much higher price point. I can purchase large paper grocery bags with handles in bulk for a little over 3 cents each. A large grocery chain can get an even cheaper price. So where is all the extra money going?
Aside from government taking more and control over our lives, what is the motive for this ordinance? No, it isn’t a true effort to protect our environment. It’s about being the first to do it. It’s about the little minds of the city council members being able to tout themselves as being green. It’s a political agenda.
California passed a similar law, that was set to go into effect this summer, but that is now on hold. The California legislature really wanted to be the first state to garner the title of the First State In The Nation to ban plastic bags. They want to be known as the people who are Green. A petition drive forced the law to go on the November ballot. It isn’t the citizens who are really driving this; it is the plastic bag special interest groups. Wrong protest for the wrong reason.
So why am I for “single use” plastic bags? I’m not. I’m against government continually telling us how to live our lives. I’m against government continually getting bigger. Now we will need bag-Nazis to enforce the rules, which means more people on the government welfare dole. And of course, we needed a website for this… more of our tax payer money.
In Palm Springs, if a small retailer says they cannot afford to invest in paper bags, the City will give them $500. Who’s paying for that? You and me, of course.
Also in Palm Springs customers who participate in the California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children or a customer who is participating in the Supplement Food Program do not have to pay for their bags. In case you aren’t familiar with these programs, we used to call them Welfare, but that isn’t a “politically correct” term anymore – we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. And who is shouldering the burden for Welfare recipient’s free bags? You and me, of course.
ARE SINGLE USE PLASTIC BAGS BAD?
Yes, if they end up in our waters or blowing around our lands. They are bad for wildlife. The extent of the threat varies by who is reporting the damage – each group has their own agenda. Also there is the question of who is polluting our environment with these bags (landfills aside). It is probably safe to say that there are certain demographic groups that are the biggest offenders.
In our household, these bags are not single use items. We store them in our house and in our camper. Instead of buying plastic trash bags and plastic poop bags for Corky, we re-purpose these bags for the small trash cans in our bathroom and the office, reducing the need to buy single use trash bags.
We now have a collection of durable reusable shopping bags. I am okay with that, but we need to buy heavier trash bags for our trash and doggie bags. I am not sure this is a good thing.
ARE (RECYCLED) PAPER BAGS BETTER?
I think so. They decompose faster and better. When I was a kid we used grocery bags as our trash bags. I remember my Dad folding over each full bag and stapling each one shut before taking them outside to the trash can. Let the stores give them away if they want!
WHAT’S THE POINT OF THIS POST?
This controversy points out that our government is getting larger and larger, and is dictating to the population how they will live their lives. Those who seek government employment and power are eroding our personal freedoms at an alarming and accelerating rate. It has nothing to do with plastic or paper bags.