First we were told that the paper shopping bags were killing the planet. Of course, this was back when global cooling was the great fear
When will we be told that reusable fabric shopping bags are killing the planet (or being manufactured by exploited third-world labor or some such evil) and we need to use something else? What will we use to carry our groceries when that day comes? Will our own hands and arms still be okay? Should we hire professional grocery-carriers? Perhaps we'll just have to walk home with our shopping cart, unload, and return the shopping cart back to the store? I wrote the last line in jest, but it might actually be closer to the future. After all, driving is evil and we should be walking/taking public transport/biking/blah, blah, blah. Amidoingthisright?
I freaking hate those reusable shopping bags for a few reasons and I prefer to use plastic shopping bags when I do my marketing. When presented with a choice, I very rarely choose paper over plastic. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I love plastic bags, but I use them for so many different things that it's hard not to love them.
I'm fairly certain that my stance on this issue will seem surprising to some readers of this blog, but I'm happy to report that California actually got something right. They did not choose to penalize users of plastic shopping bags. For those of you not in the know, our esteemed legislators have been looking at a bill that would have banned plastic shopping bags or (possibly) required a surcharge to use said bags. Our idiot Assembly passed this tripe back in June and the Senate voted it down yesterday. I guess it is true that a stopped clock is correct at least twice each day.
Assemblywoman Brownley, D-Santa Monica (of course!), the person responsible for introducing this bill, likes to use inflammatory language to advance her agenda. She says that plastic shopping bags are a "single use" item and she even goes so far as to call them "urban tumbleweeds." Does this mean that most people only use these bags to carry in their groceries and then toss them in the garbage? Really? Where in the heck is Brownley hanging out that plastic bags are freely blowing around in the breeze? I can't say that I've seen them in my neck of the woods, but perhaps it's a plastic bag-slinger's paradise in The People's Republic of Santa Monica? I guess it must be all tenants from rent-controlled units. . .hm.
I find it unintentionally hilarious that she said yesterday was, "a sad day for California." Interestingly enough, I think it would have been a far sadder day to have added yet another layer of legislation that restricts freedom of choice. I might be something of a hippie and I might generally vote Republican, but I always will side with freedom. Don't use plastic grocery sacks if you don't want to. I might make the sharp point that no one is trying to restrict your right to purchase a reusable woven shopping bag for toting your groceries.
Look, I do some pretty environmentally-friendly things, but I also cherish my freedom of choice in many areas of daily life - even if my choice doesn't fit an environmental-driven agenda. I prefer reusable items to manage my menses, I choose to use cloth towels instead of paper towels, and I only use cloth napkins rather than paper napkins. Guess what? I also want to use plastic grocery bags.
Why is it that certain groups want to force others to make the same choices that they do? Actually, that's not exactly true because being forced to do something isn't really a choice at all. Now is it?
My choices may not be your choices. I'm okay with that and it doesn't really bother me if someone else doesn't want to make the same decisions that I make. Freedom of choice, baby, I'm always going to side with freedom of choice.