It's A Bird. It's A Balloon. It's A @#%&!* Plastic Bag!
Time To Ban The Bag In New York
Plastic bags. You know, the kind you get in the supermarket, where everything falls out or rips through. The bags that get caught under your car, clog our sewers, fly across ballfields, lodge under bushes, and last an eternity in landfills.
Plastic bags. Scourge of the environmentalist. Bane of the shopper. Product of billions of gallons of petroleum.
The plastic bag industry laughed loud, indeed, when they conned the public with the "it's reuseable" campaign. Stores began replacing the kraft paper bags (biodegradable) with plastic, sometimes offering both (as in, "paper or plastic"), but most often, now only packing plastic, into which two or three items can squeeze, at most (only to roll out in your car's trunk).
Sure, you could -- and should -- use those canvass bags. Most stores will even give you a credit when you do. Still, why not eliminate the plastic bag altogether, banning its use -- and misuse -- in New York State?
Bans on the plastic bag are not uncommon. In fact, in major cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, and Beijing, bans have been in effect for several years. And, across the planet, the move to ban plastic bags is growing.
Considering the fact that New York lost its progressive edge with Teddy Roosevelt, and has been behind the curve on virtually every environmental and consumer issue for as long as anyone can remember, what will it take to adopt a plastic bag ban here in the Empire State?
Whole Foods has rid many of its stores of the dreaded plastic bag, and IKEA only offers them for sale. The NYC Council considered a ban in 2007, vigorously opposed, of course, by the Progressive Bag Alliance. [Darn those bag ladies...]
Here on Long Island, the plastic bag fluorishes, undaunted by concerns for the environment, the cost of its production, the insidious means by which it finds its way into our homes, our parks, our beaches, and along our roadways.
With Earth Hour just behind us, and Earth Day (April 22nd) right ahead, perhaps the time has come, at long last, for Long Islanders to join the movement to ban the plastic bag in New York, once and for all.
Consider it a matter of our quality of life, on the top ten list of things to do before we leave Long Island to Generation Next. [And add to that ever-growing list, removing cars from public roadways for street cleaning, and placing the trash at the curb in sealed containers.]
So, while you're writing, e-mailing and phoning your State Senators and Assemblymembers, beseeching them to lower property taxes, rein in spending, build affordable housing, equitably fund public education, and all the other good stuff we've been blogging about, don't forget to mention banning the plastic bag.
Bug the bag out of your county, town, and village officials, as well. Heck, if they can't -- or won't -- tackle the more global issues, at least they can -- and should -- take on the little ones. They, too, have a global impact.
It's time to Ban the bag, New York!