The Truth about the Plastic Bag Ban
Jim Neal, Candidate, Mountain View City Council
For months I have been wondering why many cities in California were so anxious to ban plastic bags when there are so many other things that are much worse offenders when it comes to polluting the environment. Strangely enough, I found the answer from a quote given by a SUPPORTER of the ban in this article from the Wall Street Journal:
Daniella Dimatrova Russo wrote the argument in favor of the ban and quotes many reasons why plastic bags are evil. But hidden deep in her treatise on the subject is the following:
"Companies that manufacture reusable bags will continue to grow and diversify their product lines, and will create more green jobs. The sale of reusable bags will also generate sales-tax revenueunlike the disposable bags, which are given away."
And there you have it ladies and gentlemen! The REAL REASON the cities want to ban plastic bags is MONEY!!!! The cities expect to make tons of money from the sales taxes that will be generated from the sale of so-called "reusable bags". I am sure that they most likely intend to use the new revenues to pay for their exploding deficits that are due to the extremely generous salaries, benefits, and pension programs that have bankrupted several cities already and forced San Jose to take the extreme measure of passing a pension reform measure on the ballot this past June:
I actually took the time to attend the Board of Supervisors meeting in San Mateo last Tuesday and I was shocked to see that they were so blatant about the fact they had already made up their minds on the issue, they didn't even bother to hide it. The agenda for the Final Program EIR actually stated as one of the items 5.3.C "Approve resolution". Mind you, this was BEFORE the hearing on the Final Program EIR was held!
I even brought evidence from the U.K Environment Agency (similar to our EPA) study Web Link which shows that a so-called reusable bag has to be used a minimum of 131 times before it has the same carbon footprint as a so-called "single use" plastic bag and while I am sure that none of you ever reuse your plastic bags and simply throw them in the trash after you bring home your groceries, I reuse my "single use bags" hundreds if not thousands of times. I keep them until they become soiled or too damaged to reuse.
But then again, maybe the county and the cities are right. After all, we know how environmentally irresponsible people in the Bay Area are. None of you can be trusted to be responsible with something as deadly and destructive as a plastic bag. You're all too lazy to even consider reusing them! In two hours I came up with 101 ways to reuse the "single-use" plastic bag, but the county and the cities know that none of you can even think of one! We are really fortunate that we have them to tell us what to do and to take care of us. After all, can you imagine how horrible life would be if we had to think for ourselves and were responsible for our own actions?