What could go wrong? LA Set to Ban Paper and Plastic

by Steve MacDonald

paper-or-plastic-or something moreDemocrats don’t think things through.  (Progressive Republicans are no different, to be fair.)  They enact policies in response to the echo chamber of voices in their ideologically isolationist heads, all the things Edmund Burke warned us against centuries ago.  The result is almost always bureaucratic nonsense, another small loss of freedom, massive expense with little or no gain, followed by a parade of newer and more expensive (and intrusive) policies to “correct” the first.

The progressive Darth Vader might say of such people, “The urge to meddle is strong with this one.”

So what could go wrong if the Los Angeles City Council decided to ban all paper and plastic bags from Supermarket checkouts?

This seems like a predictable mutation in the nanny-states evolutionary process; after San Francisco took away the happy meal toys or the progressive pokers of fingers into other people’s pies campaign to end phrases such as “would you like fries or an apple pie with that?”   So what, no more of that cultural staple, “would you like paper or plastic,” at least in Los Angeles?   Should we even try to feign surprise?

The left is obsessed with expanding their control to the scope of all that their squinting angry eyes can survey.  They are the Gang of meddling kids from Scooby Doo, except they are all the dumb dog. Only an intellectually inbred panel of progressive-liberal isolationists would believe that it is better for the environment to force everyone under their control to bring their reusable bags to the grocery store.  Bags that, according to this study, will eventually be loaded with dangerous bacteria.

Coliform bacteria, suggesting raw-meat or uncooked-food contamination, was in half of the bags, and E. coliwas found in 12 percent of the bags.

Running the bags through a washer or cleaning them by hand reduced bacteria levels to almost nothing, the study reported, but nearly all shoppers questioned said they do not regularly, if ever, wash their reusable bags. About a third said they also used their food-shopping bags to haul around non-food items.

LA plans to force people to use (and re-use) reusable bags.  No other bags will be available.  So is this another example where knee-jerk reactions create misery and inconvenience while accomplishing none of their intended goals?  The goal is to “protect the environment, yes?” So how is this likely worse for the environment?

More than a few of these reusable bags will get nasty.  If you wash the bags (and don’t just toss them out and buy new ones), you can–we are told– get the bacteria out.  But not everyone will know this or do it, and no progressive worth their nanny-state badge would ever assume a mere mortal capable of handling that on their own.  Remember, Liberals think you are too stupid to know how to buy the right food, how to cook it, how to eat it, how much of it to eat. Or, how to get your ignorant ass to the store to shop with your spiffy, germ-infested, city-mandated reusable grocery bags so you may then eat baby arugula salad with free-range chicken and a state-sanctioned Fair Trade beverage.   Cleaning your city mandated reusable grocery bags has to be beyond you.

But let us imagine that you can clean them and you do.  How much water, electricity, and laundry detergent might be added to the environmental equation when a city the size of LA has to start washing millions of fabric bags every week?  Increased water and detergent use anyone?  So just for starters, this means more water treatment (pre and post wash) and the added stress to expensive infrastructure.  Do we need a new board or commission to address this?

And what if you don’t clean them?  You were probably too dumb to start using the reusable bags on your own without nanny’s say-so,  so why would you be smart enough to wash them?  Out of the millions of LA food shoppers how many will keep their reusable bags from becoming a public health hazard?  Could that danger increase the risk of foodborne illness? Do we need a board or commission to address this?

Would more food born illness add to the number of hospital and doctor visits?   Given the arc toward socialized medicine might this place another excessive and expensive burden on taxpayers and the cost of insurance premiums?  (More regulations.)

How much medical waste will more visits create, and how much of that waste is plastics and synthetics–derived from the kind of  “dirty energy” used to power the Chevy Volt?   Electricity used to keep these medical facilities running, the public transportation humming, and the infrastructure functioning.  And speaking of transportation, how will all those sick folks get to the doctor?  Will they use traditional gas powered vehicles, powered public transportation, or the new coal powered electric cars? (More regulators)

What about the materials in the reusable bags?  Where are those made, in China?  How many Americans will lose their jobs because the metropolis of LA decided to stop using paper and plastic?  (Where’s the LA Bag Tsar?)

You can re-use paper and plastic, even recycle them, but what about reusable bags?  They don’t last forever?  Can you recycle those?  Are they made out of fabrics that deteriorate in a landfill, or are many of them made of synthetics as previously noted?  Can you just toss them out or do you have to kiss them and burn them, or bury them when they must be put down?  Who runs the city commission to decide that?

When should we expect the LA city council’s manual of guidelines for the manufacture of mandated re-usable grocery bags?  You know we need one of those, right?  Will there be warnings on the bags?  Those handles might pose a strangulation hazard to small children, and are the synthetic ones (if permissible) breathable–no suffocation?  Can you take them on airplanes?  Are they pet safe?  Is it OK for children under 16 to use them?  Could the handles cause friction burns? What about weight limits? Can they only be made by government-approved union workers from new or like new domestic materials?

And what about people who can’t afford reusable bags?  Will there be a government subsidy program, a budget, a Bureau of grocery movement and management, with a division dedicated to the screening of eligible recipients for taxpayer funded, city-mandated grocery receptacles?  Will you need ID to get them?

You know, we could do this all day, but there is a simpler solution.  Would you like paper or plastic?


Leave a Comment

  • I read the article: they haven’t even drafted an ordinance yet.   This thing is a long way from being passed.  And the proposal is just to charge  a fee of 10 cents/bag.

    • C. dog e. doG

      WoW Timmy –
      “Just 10¢ a bag”?  D’ya think that’s what the game is all about anyway?  Mo Money!  “Show me the money”, said the Political Class to the Serfs.
      – C. dog channeling Timmy’s hero

    • I never said it was enacted.  I used the context of “if” and “when,” so the Council’s intention to commit a loss of freedom (and all my snarky asides) still applies; and the article seems clear on their intent.

      “”A Los Angeles City Council committee moved forward Wednesday with a plan
      to end the use of paper and plastic bags at supermarket checkout lines,
      saying such a move would spur consumers to switch to more
      environmentally friendly reusable ones.””

      As to your comment on the “proposal is just to charge a 10 cents/bag fee,” didn’t you leave something very important out of your remarks, Mr. Horrigan?

      “”Once the plastic bag ban is in place, supermarkets would be required to
      charge 10 cents for each paper bag. Six months later, paper bags would
      be prohibited as well, said Koretz, who wrote the proposal.””

      Six months later paper bags would be prohibited.

      So it’s not just a proposal to charge a bag fee (don’t let Southwest Airlines know) it is a use tax to alter behavior prior to a complete ban.

    • Anonymous

      I must say, I always can count on you, Tim for your rank minimization of any issue you would likely defend as being sound. 

  • Pingback: Norovirus Source – Reusable Grocery Bag — GraniteGrok()

  • Pingback: L.A. City Council Votes 13-1 to Ban Plastic Grocery Bags — GraniteGrok()

  • Pingback: L.A. Plastic Bag Ban – By The Way…Reusable Bags Might Be Worse For The Environment — GraniteGrok()

  • Pingback: McAllen Texas is not planning to ban plastic bags anytime soon — GraniteGrok()

Previous post:

Next post: