Make no mistake: This measure wasn’t about preserving our environment—the alternatives to plastic bags have heavier environmental footprints than the now-illegal variety deemed outmoded—or protecting cute marine life. This was an exercise in punishing an industry, and the thousands of hard-working Californians it employs, that Big Green finds politically distasteful.Crony capitalism plus false claims of environmental superiority. That's California!
In both environmental and fiscal measures, bag bans are unqualified failures. This ban will engender no positive outcomes for our environment and in turn only toughen the job climate. And yet it gets even worse when one examines the process through which this particular deal was brokered.
Here, greedy special interests and desperate legislators struck an agreement to allow grocers to retain all the paper bag fees in return for their support of the legislation. Projected to earn as much as $1 billion in new revenue, the grocers gladly obliged. With the help of the grocers’ lobbyists, legislators in Sacramento had the necessary air cover to ignore the environmental science and potential for dramatic job loss. So do what they refused and consult the data.
Plastic bags generate fully 80 percent less solid waste than paper bags. They require 70 percent less energy to manufacture and 91 percent less energy to recycle. They occupy 85 percent less landfill space than bulky paper alternatives.
Now size up in-vogue reusable bags.
According to a lifecycle analysis by the United Kingdom’s environmental authority, shoppers would need to reuse their reusable totes 131 times before it became more environmentally advantageous than a plastic bag that was used just once. The Brits determined that it would take 7.5 years, assuming one trip to the market a week, for a reusable bag to have a lesser carbon footprint than a plastic bag used only three times.
But the problems with reusable bags aren’t simply limited to its gross environmental failings. They also pose a growing public health risk....
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Think Plastic Grocery Bags Are Bad For The Environment? Look At The Alternative
California's law was passed on emotion and wanting to "do something", another common impulse of lefties: