Bag Banners: Futile and Sick(ening)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Aside from being a misuse of government, plastic bag bans also fail to solve two of the (non-)problems they are supposed to solve: allegedly scarce landfill space and an inability allegedly peculiar to plastic to decompose when in a landfill. The city of Austin, Texas, discovered this recently:

Two years later, an assessment commissioned by the city finds that the ban is having an unintended effect -- people are now throwing away heavy-duty reusable plastic bags at an unprecedented rate. The city's good intentions have proven all too vulnerable to the laws of supply and demand.

What's true for Austin is likely true elsewhere. Plastic bag bans are one of America's most popular environmental measures of recent years: Since San Francisco became the first U.S. city to implement a ban in 2007, more than 100 other U.S. cities have joined the cause. While it's been relatively easy to rally consensus around these bans, however, it's been far harder to achieve significant results. [links dropped]
And don't forget that most reusable bags contain disease-causing coliform bacteria. Read the rest of the article to observe a couple of other things: (1) the further contortions some people are putting themselves through in order to solve this new problem of their own creation; and (2) some of the other problems prompting the bans. The latter could be combated by more vigorous uses of proper government functions, such as fining litterers on the basis of their injury to the property of others.

-- CAV

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