What’s Wrong with a Little Plastic?

Los Angeles recently became the largest city in the nation to ban plastic bags.  The City Council voted 13 to 1 to phase out plastic bags over the next 16 months.  LA follows San Jose, San Francisco, and Long Beach with the ban.  While I’m sure this makes some people VERY happy, there are others that are against it.  Let’s check out why…

  1. Plastic bags tend to be easier to carry, especially if you have heavy items within them.  I’ve had one too many paper bags rip while I was walking with heavy items inside.
  2. You want people to clean up after their dogs, don’t you?  Let’s be realistic; LA is a lot like NY in the sense that several residents have dogs.  They’re also alike in the sense that not many people have yards where they can allow their dogs to roam free.  These residents must walk their dogs to allow them to go do their business.  Several people use plastic bags to pick up after their pooches.  I don’t see a paper bag doing the same trick as a plastic one.
  3. People use plastic bags to bring food and other items to work.  I, personally, hate lunch bags and lunch boxes.  I feel they are bulky and take up too much space, especially if you commute to work.  Plastic bags are an easy and reliable way to get last night’s leftover chicken parm (although I would not recommend chicken parm from LA) from home to work.  A lot of women also use plastic bags to hold their stilettos on their way to work.  As a lady, I can say that wearing high heels on a bus or subway is NOT fun.
  4. Believe it or not, there is a plastic bag industry that employees thousands (if not millions) of people per year.  The more places that ban plastic bags, the more jobs that are lost.  Imagine if more cities the size of LA began to ban plastic bags?  What if NY did it?  This will eventually become a serious threat if more and more cities begin to catch on.

Those are only four reasons as to why I believe plastic bags should not be banned.  I try to be “nice” to the environment, but let’s be honest, we rely on them more than you probably think we do.  How many times have you gone to a store where someone chose paper over plastic?  Not many, huh?  I’ll be the first to admit that I have groaned when my checkout line was out of plastic.

Oh, but you will be able to get plastic after all?  How?  By paying 10 cents, of course!  10 cents doesn’t seem a lot until it shows up numerous times on your receipt.  Then you take all those 10 cent charges and add them up.  Not pretty, if you ask me.

This is something that I hope never makes its way to New York.  This still bothers me considering LA is my place to “escape”, get yummy Mexican food, and my “second home”.  I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, especially those that feel strongly about our environment, but these are just my feelings on the situation.

How do you feel about the plastic bag ban?  Damn, that’s a tongue twister.

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4 Responses to What’s Wrong with a Little Plastic?

  1. LadyHill says:

    As someone who feels strongly about the environment I HATE this plan! I won’t use paper bags bc of it. I use and reuse my plastic bags. I also recycle them.
    If NY does this I will flip out

  2. Check out my new blog: http://fighttheplasticbagban.com/

    On my blog I have a downloads menu item. If you click on that there are a number of papers that I have written that can be downloaded.

    One paper titled “Negative Health and Environmental Impacts of Reusable Shopping Bags” deals with the health issues more extensively than you did in the article above. For example, in addition to bacteria, viruses and virus transmission with reusable shopping bags could make other sick. Also, people who have AIDS or a suppressed immune system may be more sensitive to bacteria in reusable bags then people who have normal immune systems. About 20% of the population fit in this category.

    Also, when bag bans are implemented people always complain about all those plastic bags that end up in the landfill. But they have never stopped to calculate all the stuff going into a landfill after a plastic carryout bag ban compared to before. It would surprise you to know that 3 to 4 times the amount of material goes into the landfill post ban than pre ban. Those plastic carryout bags are sure looking good. see my article titled “Fact Sheet – Landfill Impacts” for the details and the calculations.

    There is much more.

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