Well, here we go again. First, we give up paper sacks because too many trees were being removed to make paper (paper mills closed and people were out of work). Plastic became the new, better and acclaimed material for everything, including grocery bags.
Now it seems plastic bags may be banned in our county. What are we to do? Maybe we should all travel down to Costco, where they put our groceries in boxes. What about large families? I can just see shopping carts full of dozens of small cloth bags.
Banning free plastic bags won’t reduce waste. California’s Statewide Waste Characterization Study shows that plastic bags and other merchandise bags consistently make up just 0.3 percent of the waste in the state. That’s three-tenths of 1 percent, and it won’t do that much for litter, either. Litter studies from across the country show that on average, plastic retail bags make up about 1 percent to 2 percent of all litter.
I’m sure many people reuse their plastic bags, like we do. We use them for trash, garbage, liners for wastepaper baskets and laundry bags when we go on vacation. They are a must when we go camping. People use them when they walk their dogs. I suppose we will have to buy the same number of plastic bags for all of these things. Is this defeating the purpose?
Reusable bag contamination can be a problem. In a recent study by the University of Arizona, almost every bag sampled contained large amounts of coliform, E-coli and other pathogens. People are instructed to wash these bags after every use. Over time, a lot of energy and water will be used.
This ban is just another intrusion by government into our lives. We are forced to have car seats for our children, motorcycle helmets and seat belts. You may say that these are good things.
People want the best for their children and themselves, so they should be able to have a choice.
What about school lunches? So the government dictates what nutritious food goes into the lunches. Many children throw the food away.
Small businesses are closing because of government regulation.
I could go on and on, but the last thing I want to mention is the fact that the population is being forced to get insurance that they don’t want.
Where will it end?
Joyce Shillingburg resides in Grass Valley.