And yet if Ralph's or Kroger or whatever chain decided they were going to ban plastic bags, guess who wouldn't be asking why?
Plastic bags: faithful transporters of groceries, liners of wastebaskets, pickers-up of dog crap and inspirers of late nineties Hollywood screenwriters, now banned from grocery stores by the Los Angeles City Council. But why?
Reason.tv's Kennedy paid a visit to LA City Hall to find an answer to that question. Council members stood by the ban, despite being confronted with evidence that bag bans have no discernible effect on the health of the environment and make up less than 1 percent (pdf download) of California's waste stream.
Guess who'd be talking about self-interest and agency and NOT bitching about coercion? But beyond that, why cry about a plastic bag ban? Are you really that attached to your plastic bags? Where in the Constitution does it say we're entitled to a free and endless supply of plastic bags? Oh, it doesn't? Well then...
I do love how the Reason people think that the "only 1% of California's waste stream" is a trump card of some sort. It makes you wonder, How much preventable pollution must we endure before we act? 5%? 10% If plastic bags were a larger percentage of California's waste stream, would Libertarians act? Do they need to be up to their ankles in discarded plastic bags before they recognize the downside of their "Life, liberty and the pursuit of plastic bags" freedom bullshit?
As it stands, I don't think pollution is the best reason to get rid of plastic bags. The cloth bags you can buy at any store these days are much, much better. They don't rip. They carry more. Their handles are more robust. They're reusable. By any measure other than cost and convenience, they're just better.
The smartest thing I ever heard about plastic bags was this: You're going to use this bag for a little while, a few hours at the most, and it's going to be around for the next thousand years.
Oh yeah, forgot about that part, didn't ya, Libertarians? Yep, those bags will be around long after your great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandchildren have great-great-great-great grandchildren. That 1% of California's waste stream? It will still be there long after the other 99% degrades.
Way to think smart, guys. Support waste. Fight against progress. All because the government told you no.