Paper or plastic? What happened to the first amendment?!

Usefulness of plastic bags

Around my house there are always uses for plastic and paper bags picked up from the grocery store.  After their initial use, plastic are used for a myriad of things, and unless torn, they’ll be saved for trash bags, wet shoes, lunch bag liner in a backpack, doggie-bags and who knows what else.  One interesting thing I’ve found the last few years is that plastic bags are actually more reliable for carrying candy in parades than those “reusable” plastic or fabric bags (and I walk my share on election years).  Half the time the handles fall of those other “reusable” bags…but I digress.  I recycle plastic bags.  And a lot of people I know do recycle their plastic bags too.  Actually most people I know recycle them.  In my home they’re called “Walmart bags” because of the advertisement on the side.

But, the environmentalist legalists have decided that they know better than we do.  Citizens can’t be trusted to make their own decisions.  No way!  Freedom is dangerous.

The radical Left’s war is nothing new

Back in the 1980’s the “Plastic vs. Paper” fight broke out.  Plastic bags were brought on to put a stop to the “wasteful” paper bags.

It appears everybody has squared off over grocery bags since plastic sacks were first widely introduced in the United States in 1979–from suburbanites who want paper bags so their groceries will remain upright in the trunks of their cars to urban shoppers who find plastic bags easier to carry.

And grocery bag makers are not just relying on the handiness of their products to draw converts. They are highlighting off-beat uses as well–everything from paper bags as Halloween masks to plastic bags as makeshift wind breakers.

Now thirty years later, plastic bags are “wasteful.”  Now thirty years later plastic bags are evil.  Will the environmentalist radicals ever be satisfied?!

Plastic bag bans brought to New Mexico

I’ve recently seen a plastic bag ban in my community.  It has been painful to watch business owners talk about the new costs the ban brings.  One local business owner said the ban will cost his business tens of thousands each year.  Another business owner I spoke with last fall said she was pleased that she and her husband had finally sold their local business– now I won’t have to deal with the ban’s hassles, she told me.

Responses to the ban

Talking to friends and locals about the ban I have received a variety of responses.  While my business-owning friends have been very disappointed in the ban, others have had different responses.  One local county Republican party executive committee officer came out saying the ban was good– as if we need more laws.  It is funny how an individual who personally tells me he hates rules and advised me to avoid organized groups almost to the point of suggesting skirting the law, wants to make others follow yet another law– perhaps that’s what too many years at a university will do to you!  And there’s a real capitalist and some loyalty to the free market. (Sarcasm)

One approach I’ve taken when looking at the ban is that the ban may be an infringement on free speech.  Should the government really have power and authority to stop businesses from using relatively harmless plastic bags?  Why should the government have power over something so small?  And if the government can control something as frivolous as business’ ability to use thin plastic bags, where will it lead next?!  If people know them as “Walmart”, “Albertsons”, or “Smiths” bags doesn’t that mean the grocery store has been successful with her marketing?  Just sain’…

I hope somebody takes on the next proposed ban on plastic bags.  Some things just need to be opposed based on principle!

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