Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tyranny in Small Things

Austin, the Capitol City of my Great State of Texas, recently passed a ban on plastic grocery bags.  Now everyone is supposed to use reusable (that is: cloth) bags instead.  This is being hailed as a win for the environment, because those plastic bags were so terrible.

Man, I'm so old I remember when plastic bags were the "environmental" choice, since those eeeevil paper bags came from trees.  (Hint to liberals: when something literally does "grow on trees," that's not a bad thing.)  So now the plastic bags are no longer in favor, so we must change to cloth bags.

Now at least one City Council member in the City of Dallas wants to implement the same thing in that city.  This is why conservatives in Texas should not turn a blind eye to the bad things the Austin does; eventually some idiot will try to bring those bad ideas to our own cities.

Now, I don't actually have a problem with reusable bags themselves.  They are a breeding ground for disease, but they're cloth.  They'll survive the clothes washer just fine.  Wash 'em every couple of weeks and you'll be fine.  Double wrap your meat, and wrap your produce, and you can go even longer between washings.  I use them at Aldi (I don't even buy all of my groceries there, and they've cut my grocery bill about in half), because Aldi (as a private enterprise) encourages their use.  I'm fine with that.

On the other hand, I also like plastic bags.  They're convenient.  They're light.  I don't have to turn around and go back home when I realize I didn't bring any with me. 

On top of that, they're every bit as "reusable" as my cloth bags.  I don't reuse them for groceries, but we keep one in our minivan to put trash in.  I used to carry a couple in my kids' diaper bags (thank God they're both out of diapers now- those things are expensive), for accident containment.  I use them as a "lunch box" for work.  I've used them to line trash cans in the house, paint buckets, and all kinds of things.

They save me a lot of hassle. 

In short, it really annoys me that people are now telling me I shouldn't be able to use them.  So let me ask this: are you targeting plastic trash bags next?  Plastic trash bags are, well, plastic, too.  Am I going to have to change out my plastic trash bags for paper?  For canvas?  If not, then you'll excuse me if I don't believe your objection to the plastic trash bags is about the environment; rather, it's about your desire to control ever facet of my life.

Blow that.

It is not the government's job to mandate that I use reusable grocery bags.  It is not the government's job to make sure I recycle.  It is not the government's job to force me to do anything.

This seems like a tiny thing, but it really isn't.  The Government has already taken over health care.  Just ask your doctor how much of a pain ObamaCare is.  Ask your insurance provider.  Government wants to rule every part of your life, and this is simply another facet.  It seems minor, but the door it opens is huge.

Update & Scienceyist Alert:
FotB tsrblke sends along this little nugget.  Turns out that those "reusable bags" are actually worse for the environment than plastic bags anyway.  And that assumes that someone is just using the plastic bag once and then throwing it away.  It gets even worse (for the canvas propagandists) if you reuse even just 40.3% (well less than half) of your plastic bags just once. 

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