Human Events Blog

Los Angeles bans plastic bags

 

There is a group called the American Progressive Bag Alliance, which exists to represent the interests of the plastic bag and recycling industries.  The very notion that such a “bag alliance” is necessary sounds bizarre, but nobody in Los Angeles is laughing, because the L.A. city council voted on Wednesday to ban plastic bags.

Mark Daniels, chairman of the American Progressive Bag Alliance, is understandably unhappy with this act of bag regression.  He released the following statement:

“By voting to ban plastic shopping bags, the City of Los Angeles put in motion a misguided and onerous policy that threatens the jobs of hundreds of Angelenos employed by the industry, and nearly 2,000 statewide, while pushing residents to less environmentally friendly reusable bags which are produced overseas and cannot be recycled. Los Angeles residents should be further concerned as this ordinance also calls for a regressive, hidden tax to be imposed without voter approval.

“Singling out and banning one product does not reduce litter and with this bag ban, the city chose to take a simplistic approach that takes away consumer choice instead of pursuing meaningful programs that encourage greater recycling of plastic bags and wraps, while preserving jobs.”

California is the last state in the nation that can afford this kind of madcap idiocy, and L.A. is one of the last cities that should be wasting its time on frivolities to appease environmentalists.  It’s particularly ironic because America only moved from paper grocery bags to plastic at the insistence of environmentalists.  Remember the big push to move to safe, recyclable plastic?

Los Angeles is the largest city to institute a bag ban.  Local workers employed by the industry literally pleaded with the city council not to kill their jobs, to no avail:

You might be wondering what shoppers are supposed to do after the government finishes taking their plastic bags away over the course of the next twelve months.  They’re certainly not supposed to use paper bags.  The L.A. city council actually toyed with banning those too, but backed off and settled for the existing ten-cent-per-bag penalty fee. 

No, you’re supposed to purchase hideously inconvenient, disease-spreading re-usable bags, which obedient citizens must remember to carry at all times when they go shopping.  Re-usable bags spread bacterial infections, unless you remember to clean them religiously after grocery purchases.  And for God’s sake, don’t keep them in your trunk, because that just makes the bacterial infections grow faster.  Even if you keep them clean, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with a reusable bag imported from China with unsafe levels of toxic lead on the interior linings. 

Of course, huge new bureaucracies will rise up to regulate all that, inevitably raising the cost to shoppers for periodically replacing lost, damaged, and forgotten cloth bags.  Eventually a new group of environmental radicals will rise up to declare the cloth bags a threat to the Earth, and those will get banned too.

Or we could just inform our political representatives that entertaining tales of phantasmal menace from eco-fanatics is an indulgence we cannot afford, and therefore hazardous to their career prospects.