Memo to greens: Maybe grocery bags should be disposable for a reason

posted at 6:53 pm on August 17, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

From the Property and Environment Research Center, here’s a thought-provoking little vid about why we should all think a little more deeply about the unintended consequences of even our best intentions before we push for government fiat to make them a reality. The environmental movement in particular tends to be a big fan of forcing society to comply with what they deem to be virtuous behavior via government crackdown. The EPA is constantly justifying it’s many regulations by claiming that they’re only safeguarding the public’s health and welfare — for instance, that the costs of their clean-air regulations are trumped by the fact that they could be saving the lives of asthma-prone infants. But if saving lives is our ultimate goal, it looks like the eco-trendy set, in pushing for more plastic grocery-bag bans, may inadvertently be perpetuating a policy that could be causing a rise in food-borne illnesses. Maybe it’s actually a good idea to dispose of the materials with which we transport our raw foods — just something to think about.


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Did you know that if you use EBT/Food stamps/welfare money to buy your groceries, you can still get plastic bags ?
FOR FREE ??

burrata on August 17, 2012 at 6:58 PM

So libs will eventually die out and the world will be populated by conservatives who use plastic bans.

Is there any way of speeding up the process?

hepcat on August 17, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Excellent thought provoking article, Erika. Thanks…

OmahaConservative on August 17, 2012 at 7:02 PM

That’s why if I ever get forced to bringing my own bags they will be all cotton and can be laundered. For the time being I’m happy with paper or plastic. I re-use the paper in a number of ways and the plastic….My dog’s poop is not affected by e-coli.

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Meh. It’s not about the public’s ‘health & welfare’ or the ‘environment’ at all — despite their lip service.

It’s about power. It’s about control. It’s about using it at every opportunity. It’s about justifying their existence/office.

Everybody loves Powerful Politicians. Everybody loves Big Government. Everybody loves being told what to do and what they cannot do. Right? Sure seems like it — ergo — this and so much more is what we get.

FlatFoot on August 17, 2012 at 7:03 PM

E. coli be damned, my reusable bag makes me feel morally superior to you.

Fallon on August 17, 2012 at 7:04 PM

I need those plastic bags to wrap dirty disposable diapers in!

bopbottle on August 17, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Packaged meat, poultry, and seafood leaking raw juices into reusable bags is a bad, bad thing, especially if the bad is made of cloth.

Of course, most of the greenies think we should all be vegetarians. The EPA may one day declare we all must be.

farsighted on August 17, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Did you know that if you use EBT/Food stamps/welfare money to buy your groceries, you can still get plastic bags ?
FOR FREE ??

burrata on August 17, 2012 at 6:58 PM

o% risk even if they were using recycled bags as them folks load up the chocolate donuts, Cheetos and the cream soda–zero e-coli….

hillsoftx on August 17, 2012 at 7:07 PM

They won’t stop until we are all back in caves, naked, and eating grass shivering in the dark…

… Whilst they jet away with a face full of lobster.

Seven Percent Solution on August 17, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Austin just banned them. Going to start my black market plastic bag business from up the road in Round Rock where bags are thankfully very safe from banishment.

Green Muse on August 17, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Seriously:

How many green ideas have actually been beneficial?

How many green ideas have not only not been beneficial, but have been proven to be onerous, draconian or worse than whatever they replaced?

Are there any that have been relatively neutral?

INC on August 17, 2012 at 7:10 PM

That’s why if I ever get forced to bringing my own bags they will be all cotton and can be laundered. For the time being I’m happy with paper or plastic. I re-use the paper in a number of ways and the plastic….My dog’s poop is not affected by e-coli.

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2012 at 7:02 PM

They banned plastic bags in my city in Jan 2012, but every place still has a choice of paper or plastic bags . People paying for groceries/merchandize with their own money have to pay for a bag, but parasites get them for free. So this cr@p about saving the environment by banning plastic bags is just that–a load of cr@p.
I use those produce bags in grocery stores to stuff everything I buy , and no one seems to mind .

burrata on August 17, 2012 at 7:11 PM

“… it looks like the eco-trendy set, in pushing for more plastic grocery-bag bans, may inadvertently be perpetuating a policy that could be causing a rise in food-borne illnesses.”

I’ll take a wild guess at the typical response to that from a lunatic-left eco-fascist: “So what if our idiotic actions are causing a rise in food-borne illnesses – we have OBOZOCARE to solve that problem.”

TeaPartyNation on August 17, 2012 at 7:12 PM

I wish I could remember where I saw this, but I recently read an article that said plastic bags are actually more enviro-friendly in being produced than are reusable bags. You would have to re-use those reusable bags something like 700 times in order to be as eco-friendly as plastic bags.

Bitter Clinger on August 17, 2012 at 7:12 PM

They won’t stop until we are all back in caves, naked, and eating grass shivering in the dark…

… Whilst they jet away with a face full of lobster.

Seven Percent Solution on August 17, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Thread Winner.

redridinghood on August 17, 2012 at 7:12 PM

George Carlin — before he went off to be recycled — had something to say about all of this nonsense:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eScDfYzMEEw

The War Planner on August 17, 2012 at 7:14 PM

I can believe that there is higher food-borne illness in sanctuary cities.

Mormontheman on August 17, 2012 at 7:15 PM

There was also a study recently that found that the harm from producing the re-usable cotton bags is way more than from plastic bags. The water and fertilizer to grow the cotton, the emissions from harvesting and transporting the cotton, the industrial waste from cleaning it, etc. you’d have to re-use the bag something like 150 times to make it worth it, which is way less than most people use their own bags. Typical feel-good nonsense from the anti-science liberals.

JohnInCA on August 17, 2012 at 7:16 PM

We have a salmonella outbreak in cantaloupes in Southwestern Indiana, and someone wants to reuse bags, and ban plastic bags? How many more people have to die? And without plastic bags, how am I supposed to wrap up my garbage? Just throw it in the can, and have the wind blow the can over and have garbage all over the neighborhood? And have maggots and associated disease breed in the can? To stop plastic bags in landfills, which take up essentially ZERO space? How stupid ARE these people.

They just PISS ME OFF.

Paul-Cincy on August 17, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Our grocery stores recycle all the plastic bags you can bring them. Isn’t this more a question of folks not having the fundamental good sense to not throw trash out in an improper fashion. Isn’t this more about littering? Littering is bad. Recyclable plastic bags are not litter. They are a one time sanitary method of transporting food from store to home. Shouldn’t we be impressing on folks not to litter and instead to recycle? Give a hoot don’t pollute.

Bmore on August 17, 2012 at 7:18 PM

One of the collateral costs of the bag bans, especially those that require us to bring our own bags to stores or pay a fee, is that it makes up to half of the population feel like they are being controlled and bullied by the Dems. This is a real cost, and certainly dwarfs any meager benefits gained by trying to dictate what sort of bags we can use.

anotherJoe on August 17, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Austin just banned them. Going to start my black market plastic bag business from up the road in Round Rock where bags are thankfully very safe from banishment.

Green Muse on August 17, 2012 at 7:09 PM

I’m in Austin too. Really hope HEB starts using the paper bags with handles now.

Missy on August 17, 2012 at 7:21 PM

E. coli be damned, my reusable bag makes me feel morally superior to you.

Fallon on August 17, 2012 at 7:04 PM

That’s why I always see Prius owners flying by me on the interstate…going over the speed limit…

lovingmyUSA on August 17, 2012 at 7:22 PM

One of our local eco-friendly beach towns just passed a plastic bag ban. The same town FROWNS on anyone smoking in public – UNLESS IT’S MARIJUANA. After all, that’s MEDICINE.

GarandFan on August 17, 2012 at 7:24 PM

burrata on August 17, 2012 at 7:11 PM

You’re touching on a real motive of banning plastic bags. Across the river in DC they didn’t ban plastic bags, they just put a tax on them. It is supposedly to clean up the Anacostia River but it really is a tax for the general fund.

I’m much more okay with just banning plastic bags and giving welfare recipients free reuseable bags than this idea that one should pay a tax for not bringing a bag along. But, of course, this is an American attitude. Europeans have the opposite point of view.

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

I need those plastic bags to wrap dirty disposable diapers in!

bopbottle on August 17, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Naw, just throw em out in the parking lot like they do here in CA central valley.

arnold ziffel on August 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

My hippy chick gal pal gave me some strong canvas sacks.
They are great, actually. Can carry all the stuff, one trip from the car, never rips.
I highly recommend them.

Walmart recycles the plastic ones around here.
waste not, want not.

PaleoRider on August 17, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Bitter Clinger on August 17, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Here’s the link for the article I mentioned.

Bitter Clinger on August 17, 2012 at 7:29 PM

It isn’t a proper hippie salad without Salmonella from the raw yardbird also carried in their “Support Body Odor” cloth shopping bags.

viking01 on August 17, 2012 at 7:29 PM

I consider myself a liberal but I think banning plastic bags, soft drinks, fast food, candy, etc….

is stupid..

But I also think its stupid to tell people who they can marry..or arrest people for marijuana.

But that’s just me..

Politricks on August 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Thanks, Erika, for this article.

I’ve long maintained that I don’t trust others to launder those reusable bags using bleach or some other antimicrobial agent to prevent spreading any number of germs and viruses.

Further, the reason that the grocery industry invented the plastic bags was that they were less expensive and more environmentally friendly. They can readily be recycled into many other useful products. Many are made using corn starch in the plastic itself to insure that it breaks down rapidly once its discarded.

thatsafactjack on August 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

I’m going to walk into the store, and pull out my recycled bag and shake out any cockroaches that may have found a temporary home in that bag.

I know a few people that live with cockroaches and it doesn’t seem to bother them, like it is the norm. (I can’t stand em) I am sure that they will be bringing more than a little E Coli from their bags into the store with them…

Food for thought.

bbordwell on August 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

I’m old enough to remember the original sales pitch for plastic bags to replace paper: SAVE TREES! EVERYONE USE PLASTIC. Yep, and on the west coast, too. Now it’s BAN PLASTIC BAGS! USE COTTON OR RECYCLED PLASTIC REUSABLE BAGS!

Until they start talking about the environmental impact of the increased production of cotton…Not hysterical about the hype, I just wait for the next installment where they cancel themselves out yet again.

Bonus points if the recycled plastic used for shopping bags is found to be carcinogenic. LOL

GeeWhiz on August 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Of course, most of the greenies think we should all be vegetarians. The EPA may one day declare we all must be.

farsighted on August 17, 2012 at 7:07 PM

There are many bacteria in the dirt. Don’t think vegetarians are safe from food-borne bacteria either

skeeterbite on August 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

I’m much more okay with just banning plastic bags and giving welfare recipients free reuseable bags than this idea that one should pay a tax for not bringing a bag along.
Happy Nomad on August 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

That makes sense but then ,
who will make sure that welfare parasites bring those reusable bags to the store with them? Afterall, these are the same people who can’t be bothered to even pour a cup of milk ( paid by taxpayers) over a bowl ( paid by taxpayers) of cereal ( paid by taxpayers) for their own meal tickets kids before they leave home ( paid by taxpayers) for school ( paid by taxpayers) , where taxpayers will feed their kids free lunch and dinner ?

burrata on August 17, 2012 at 7:35 PM

One of our local eco-friendly beach towns just passed a plastic bag ban.

GarandFan on August 17, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Have you ever noticed how the most eco-friendly places are also the places with the least productivity? Mackinac Island, MI doesn’t have cars which makes them eco-friendly but they are a tourist destination. Beach towns have the same dynamic. But population centers where people actually work and live… doing stuff like banning plastic bags makes much less sense than developing plastic bags that are much more eco-friendly.

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2012 at 7:35 PM

George Carlin — before he went off to be recycled — had something to say about all of this nonsense:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eScDfYzMEEw

The War Planner on August 17, 2012 at 7:14 PM

A lib for the most part, but he got it on a lot of stuff, like this. One of his best bits, this one.

TXUS on August 17, 2012 at 7:36 PM

I consider myself a liberal but I think banning plastic bags, soft drinks, fast food, candy, etc….

is stupid..

But I also think its stupid to tell people who they can marry….

But that’s just me..

Politricks on August 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

i also think it’s stupid for the govt to take my money to pay for your birth control pills and/or condoms..

But that’s just me….

jimver on August 17, 2012 at 7:37 PM

That makes sense but then, who will make sure that welfare parasites bring those reusable bags to the store with them?

burrata on August 17, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Doesn’t matter. The expectation is that the customer brings the means to tote their purchase home.

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2012 at 7:38 PM

I’m going to walk into the store, and pull out my recycled bag and shake out any cockroaches that may have found a temporary home in that bag.

Food for thought.

bbordwell on August 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Why would ANY responsible grocery allow people to bring in their own bags that after so many uses are essentially emptied trash bags that have been WHO KNOWS WHERE. Only one reason I can think of. Political Correctness. Because otherwise the idea stinks. Bad.

Paul-Cincy on August 17, 2012 at 7:38 PM

My hippy chick gal pal gave me some strong canvas sacks.
They are great, actually. Can carry all the stuff, one trip from the car, never rips.
I highly recommend them.

Walmart recycles the plastic ones around here.
waste not, want not.

PaleoRider on August 17, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Exactly. One, two trips max. I’ve been using them for about three years. Easier, actually.

Force me to use them? I’ll punch you’re *****in lights out.

98ZJUSMC on August 17, 2012 at 7:40 PM

But if saving lives is our ultimate goal, it looks like the eco-trendy set, in pushing for more plastic grocery-bag bans, may inadvertently be perpetuating a policy that could be causing a rise in food-borne illnesses.

Just wait until your refrigerators aren’t operating half the time because most of the power plants are shut down in order to cut back on greenhouse emissions.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 17, 2012 at 7:43 PM

George Carlin — before he went off to be recycled — had something to say about all of this nonsense:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eScDfYzMEEw

The War Planner on August 17, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Thank’s for posting that. Wish he was still around to knock some common sense into the future libtards.

redridinghood on August 17, 2012 at 7:44 PM

But I also think its stupid to tell people who they can marry..or arrest people for marijuana.

But that’s just me..

Politricks on August 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

It is just you Politricks because you are mixing stuff up.

Nobody is telling people who they can marry. The debate is over the definition of marriage. What you are really complaining about is that society does not legitmize same-sex relationships in the same way they recognize the traditional definition of marriage.

As to your pot complaint… Is there any place in America where arrests occur if one merely has “personal use” amounts of pot? Does anybody do real jail time for having a joint?

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2012 at 7:47 PM

More than half test positive for E coili, Great.

They should ban reusable bags to protect customers who don’t use them. They can transfer there ill by setting them on down the counter to be filled with groceries and in the shopping carts to haul away to their cars. At least they should wipe down the counter with antibacterial soap once they leave with their reusable bags.

That ought to give them something to think about.

plutorocks on August 17, 2012 at 7:48 PM

When do they start the ban on disposable diapers?

redridinghood on August 17, 2012 at 7:52 PM

All my recycle cloth bags get used for carrying books, art supplies, camera equipment, etc., etc.; in other words, not for taking to the store and buying groceries. About the only thing we ever got to using them for were 2 liter bottles of pop, because the bottles tear the plastic bags so easily.

Most of my bags have cat hair on them, anyway, because it takes forever for us to remember to take them back out to the car, and by that time the cats have discovered they make lovely little beds to lie on and in. And after that, who wants to put food in them?

Seattle’s plastic bag ban went into effect on July 1st. I don’t get up there often so I’ve no idea how it’s going. If all the Seattlites keel over from ecoli, though, I’ll go more often. The libs in Seattle are either a moody, depressing bunch because of the rain, or snooty rich hypocrites. But maybe it’s that way in all big cities.

theotherone on August 17, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Save the trees, save the land fills, what’s next save the boll weevil? I’m surprised they haven’t claimed credit for lowering the carbon level with all the banning of plastic bags.

Kissmygrits on August 17, 2012 at 8:12 PM

So libs will eventually die out and the world will be populated by conservatives who use plastic bans.

Is there any way of speeding up the process?

hepcat on August 17, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Let’s tell the proggies that they are hypocrites if they don’t reuse those foam plastic trays that meat comes in too?

slickwillie2001 on August 17, 2012 at 8:20 PM

How about the water, soap, and energy that has to be used to wash the re-useable bags to try to keep them from transmitting food-borne illnesses? Don’t those things also offset the environmental benefits?

lukjuj on August 17, 2012 at 8:21 PM

But I also think its stupid to tell people who they can marry..

But that’s just me..

Politricks on August 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

So you are okay with a 50 year old man marrying his 16 year old daughter. How non-judgmentally liberally tolerant of you.

farsighted on August 17, 2012 at 8:33 PM

I remember the days when I worked a part-time job at Food Lion in the 80s, plastic bags were pushed as the eco-friendly answer to evil tree-destroying paper bags.

Maybe we should let consumers use whatever the hell they want. They’re bound to make better, more informed decisions than the enviro-idiots who want to take away our freedom to choose in the mistaken belief that they’re so much smarter.

DRayRaven on August 17, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Politricks on August 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Where’d you run off to the other day when you posted some mad drivel and got your arse whooped?

CW on August 17, 2012 at 8:46 PM

farsighted– I think I can Politricks stuttering from here.

CW on August 17, 2012 at 8:46 PM

I consider myself a liberal but I think banning plastic bags, soft drinks, fast food, candy, etc….

is stupid..

But I also think its stupid to tell people who they can marry..or arrest people for marijuana.

But that’s just me..

Politricks on August 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

I agree with you on two out of three of those. ;-)

You’re an all-right guy/gal, Politricks. Who knows, perhaps you might even find yourself voting for Romney if Obama p*sses you off enough! :-)

Mary in LA on August 17, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Where’d you run off to the other day when you posted some mad drivel and got your arse whooped?

CW on August 17, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Oh-oh! You posted drivel? Better not do that.

Mary in LA on August 17, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Meaning Politricks, not you, CW. Not enough coffee today…

Mary in LA on August 17, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Look, the plastic bags are reusable.
Everybody uses these things over and over again. We do. We use them for small trash bags, to carry stuff if we go out on a picnic, or whatever. They get used for a hundred different things. You see people out carrying them when they walk their dogs. This is so stupid.

And for the turtles that choke on these bags, give me a freaking break! Are turtles this stupid? Don’t they ever choke on anything else either? If they’re killing all these turtles you’d think the ocean was filled with plastic bags floating endlessly from continent to continent!

Screw this! I will continue to use plastic bags and if they ban them I will use the same bags I do know! And if they say I need a reusable bag I will spray paint my plastic bags green and call them “Reusable Green Plastic Bags!”

Freaking idiots! We are surrounded by them!

JellyToast on August 17, 2012 at 8:50 PM

This reminds me of The Simpsons episode where Homer becomes the trash czar of Springfield, or something along those lines. Things did not turn out well.

Stacey Augmon and Plaxico Burress are having conniption fits right now.

ahlaphus on August 17, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Here’s another link about how plastic bags are better overall for the environment. Surprise!

http://www.realclearscience.com/articles/2012/07/31/plastic_bag_bans_just_another_eco-fad_106336.html

marybel on August 17, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Like others here I actually like using my re-useable grocery bags. Fewer trips from the truck, and they don’t tump over as easily as plastic bags, or rip open. I don’t want to be forced to though. Sometimes I forget my bags, or run out of them if I’m on a big shopping trip.

juliesa on August 17, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Look, the plastic bags are reusable.

Everybody uses these things over and over again. We do. We use them for small trash bags, to carry stuff if we go out on a picnic, or whatever. They get used for a hundred different things.

JellyToast on August 17, 2012 at 8:50 PM

True:
- shoe bags when traveling
- disposing of used kitty litter
- car trash bags
- …

And that doesn’t include ingenious things like the plastic bag hammock.

Mary in LA on August 17, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Meaning Politricks, not you, CW. Not enough coffee today…

Mary in LA on August 17, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Politricks has smoked too much pot.

CW on August 17, 2012 at 8:53 PM

So libs will eventually die out and the world will be populated by conservatives who use plastic bans.

Is there any way of speeding up the process?

hepcat on August 17, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Well, let’s see– liberals love abortion and contraceptives, tend to value children only in the abstract as an argument in support of more government programs but don’t actually want to be punished with having one, are all gaga over non-procreative gay “marriage” and now are ingesting food borne pathogens just to prove that the only mom they care about is Gaia. In all likelihood they are well on their way to becoming an endangered species but soon there won’t be enough of them around to push for protected status. Can’t happen soon enough.

natasha333 on August 17, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Politricks has smoked too much pot.

CW on August 17, 2012 at 8:53 PM

I hear that’s bad for a person. ;-)

I’ve never tried it. I figure I’ll go somewhere where it’s legal and try it on my 65th birthday after I retire, if/whenever the heck that will be.

Mary in LA on August 17, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Some good thread points:
When do they start the ban on disposable diapers? -redridinghood
I’m going to walk into the store, and pull out my recycled bag and shake out any cockroaches… -bbordwell
Packaged meat, poultry, and seafood leaking raw juices into reusable bags is a bad thing.. -farsighted
More than half test positive for E coili, Great. They should ban reusable bags to protect customers who don’t use them. They can transfer there ill by setting them down the counter… -plutorocks
It’s about power. It’s about control…Everybody loves Big Govt. Everybody loves being told what to do.. Right? -FlatFoot
The [bag banning] libs in Seattle are a moody, depressing bunch because of the rain.. or snooty rich hypocrites. -theotherone

anotherJoe on August 17, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Also wanted to point out that being a vegetarian will not save you from e.coli. Recent outbreaks have involved spinach and strawberries.

Mary in LA on August 17, 2012 at 8:57 PM

I thought plastic bags were good. Fewer paper bags = fewer trees logged = more trees to eat carbon and release oxygen? Right? Plastic bags are exceptionally light and can be produced from readily degradable new-era polycarbs, right? …

Do anti-American/anti-free-market “Greens” EVER attempt to make sense between points A, B, C, and D, E, F … etc., etc.?

I don’t think so. Their only interest is in frantically playing their dumb-ass “anarchist/progressive vs. mainstream/right-of-center” cyber game.

The stupidest political movement on Earth is the Green Party. The second-stupidist is Ron-Paul-pseudo-libertarianism. The third stupidest is Postmodern-Multi-Culti-PC-ism. But the margins are extremely tight. In fact, we may as well just call it a 3-way tie.

Just give me middle-of-the-road American common sense.

minnesoter on August 17, 2012 at 9:01 PM

So libs will eventually die out and the world will be populated by conservatives who use plastic bans.

Is there any way of speeding up the process?

hepcat on August 17, 2012 at 7:02 PM

If we divided the nation up, give the libs 2/3 of America, all the best land and resources, and the conservatives everything else. In 50 years they would all be broke and/or dead. All the homosexual activists and extremists, the pro-abortionists, the environmental activists, anti-capitalists and death panel types, and lets not forget the people who like sex with horses and cows and it would be over in 50 years. We would have made our few states into a new super power and then we just walk into what was left of their mess, sweep it up and take it back.

JellyToast on August 17, 2012 at 9:02 PM

So libs will eventually die out and the world will be populated by conservatives who use plastic bans.

Is there any way of speeding up the process?

hepcat on August 17, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Well, let’s see– liberals love abortion and contraceptives, tend to value children only in the abstract as an argument in support of more government programs but don’t actually want to be punished with having one, are all gaga over non-procreative gay “marriage” and now are ingesting food borne pathogens just to prove that the only mom they care about is Gaia. In all likelihood they are well on their way to becoming an endangered species but soon there won’t be enough of them around to push for protected status. Can’t happen soon enough.

natasha333 on August 17, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Great to see so many repulsive responses that treat life with such contempt.

Yet it’s not hard to imagine those idiotic, contraceptive-loving liberals in biotech companies finding ways to delay aging for decades and price the treatment in such a way that only other elitist liberals can afford it. You know, the ones who dominate the new economy.
http://blogmaverick.com/2012/08/16/which-usa-do-you-work-in/

So maybe the number of liberals in this country is going to explode.

bayam on August 17, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Loblaws (huge national grocer chain in Canada) has eliminated 3.8 BILLION bags from landfills in just 4 years.

Not using reusable shopping bags for at least groceries is just lazy.

Dave Rywall on August 17, 2012 at 9:15 PM

They won’t stop until we are all back in caves, naked, and eating grass shivering in the dark…

… Whilst they jet away with a face full of lobster. tofu

Seven Percent Solution on August 17, 2012 at 7:08 PM

V-rod on August 17, 2012 at 9:47 PM

I wonder how reusable bags could possibly be efficient for people who have large families to shop for. I mean, single people–sure, keeping a couple of bags in the car or carrying a couple of bags into the store isn’t a big deal. But I’m guessing that people who shop for large households are having to lug around a ridiculous pile of the things just to be sure they have enough.

Also…does anybody seriously think college kids/young singles who don’t have access to their own washers and dryers and who have to pay for each load separately (usually with a finite number of quarters that were squeezed out of a very tight budget) are actually going to go to the trouble of washing those bags regularly? Seriously?

For unmarried/married with no children, financially comfortable, urban (able to stop by a store as things are needed instead of compiling a long list) types, the bans may not be that big of an inconvenience. But for everybody else…they seem incredibly impractical–I mean besides the possibility of catching a horrible disease that could kill a person.

butterflies and puppies on August 17, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Meanwhile billions of tons of plaster, wood, stone, metal and asphalt lie dormant and empty.

Why do Companies (walmart, target, etc) HAVE to build a NEW 200,000sq ft operation 500feet from a perfectly usable 200,000sq ft EMPTY former retail building???

Only that health food grocery chain makes a point of reusing empty buildings.

And yet they worry about .004gram plastic bag.

orbitalair on August 17, 2012 at 10:07 PM

may inadvertently be perpetuating a policy that could be causing a rise in food-borne illnesses.

What makes you think there’s anything “inadvertant” about it. Leftists hate humanity. Period. Humans, so far as they are concerned, are the only evil species to walk the Earth and need to be eradicated. This is what they want. Obviously.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 17, 2012 at 10:21 PM

CFL bulbs that aren’t properly disposed can release heavy metals into the water cycle.

Wind and hydro power require rare Earth metals, and the mining and extracting of them is anything but green.

If all the world’s was “organic” farming, we’d come woefully short of feeding the world.

“Light rail” cannot create as much additional capacity per dollar and per right of way as added lanes on freeways. Therefore, there will be more car congestion and therefore more emissions than saved by people riding the rail.

What scientists, as opposed to journalists and evil white male studies majors, understand is that all things are imperfect tradeoffs. And as 2012′s reduction in carbon emissions shows, unpredictable free market innovations is the most promising solution to environmental problems.

Transpo on August 17, 2012 at 10:29 PM

When do they start the ban on disposable diapers?

redridinghood on August 17, 2012 at 7:52 PM

They wouldn’t be so bad if people used them properly. The bag says 12-20 pounds, but parents always seem to dispose of them after the baby poops only a few ounces.

The Rogue Tomato on August 17, 2012 at 10:44 PM

I see people with cloth grocery bags buying water bottled in plastic in those 24 bottles plastic shrouded cases. Always makes me laugh. Oh I’m sure they recycle them;)

Deanna on August 17, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Wegmans sells a plastic square bottomed reusable bag for a dollar. I like them because they hold a lot and require fewer trips from the car. Screw the environment, I like the convenience, and the handles are easier on your hands. As far as germs go, whenever I buy meat products, I always put those in a disposable plastic bag I find on a spool in the meat department. And yeah, every so often I clean the bags with a spray disinfectant. But they don’t last forever. Eventually a side seam splits and it’s time for a replacement.

Galtian on August 17, 2012 at 11:28 PM

i need those bags in my never ending war on cat poop…

every store seems to have recycle bins for the plastic bags now anyway- curbside recycling will not take them ,though-which seems ridiculous.

remember when we went from paper to plastic because loons were screaming about dead trees ? even though paper is easily recycled and easily degrades.

mittens on August 17, 2012 at 11:50 PM

There was also a study recently that found that the harm from producing the re-usable cotton bags is way more than from plastic bags. The water and fertilizer to grow the cotton, the emissions from harvesting and transporting the cotton, the industrial waste from cleaning it, etc. you’d have to re-use the bag something like 150 times to make it worth it, which is way less than most people use their own bags. Typical feel-good nonsense from the anti-science liberals.

During the 70s “energy crisis,” some people who knew nothing about agriculture in general (and cotton farming in particular) gave themselves a warm glow by musing about how it would be better if we went back to cotton diapers.

As I thought everyone knew, cotton exhausts the soil after a period of years. Before readily-available commercial fertilizers (not to mention George Washington Carver), cotton fields had to lie fallow for a time to allow the soil to replenish itself. This accounts for a good deal of the obsession with the land (and getting more of it) in Southern history and literature.

But it’s easy for someone to make speculations about cotton diapers (renewable! recyclable!) when they are ignorant of the factors you mention.

Owen Glendower on August 17, 2012 at 11:57 PM

Dear Erika: I am a fan. I am glad you joined the team here at Hot Air. Your posts are interesting and I like that when I read them, it’s not immediately apparent from the subject material or the writing style who posted it–in other words, you are not a one-trick-pony covering every story though your particular lens and you don’t seem to choose stories in order to support your personal political obsessions. This is not meant to be a slam against the other (current) Hot Air writers. Keep up the good work!

Polynath on August 17, 2012 at 11:59 PM

I just wanted to say to the arrogant “green” leftists……buwhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Hard Right on August 18, 2012 at 1:08 AM

During the 70s “energy crisis,” some people who knew nothing about agriculture in general (and cotton farming in particular) gave themselves a warm glow by musing about how it would be better if we went back to cotton diapers.

As I thought everyone knew, cotton exhausts the soil after a period of years. Before readily-available commercial fertilizers (not to mention George Washington Carver), cotton fields had to lie fallow for a time to allow the soil to replenish itself. This accounts for a good deal of the obsession with the land (and getting more of it) in Southern history and literature.

But it’s easy for someone to make speculations about cotton diapers (renewable! recyclable!) when they are ignorant of the factors you mention.

Owen Glendower on August 17, 2012 at 11:57 PM

I don’t know about the 70′s, but this definitely happened during the 80′s too. We fell for it for a few weeks.
The disposable diaper was killing us all. All that fecal matter in the garbage dumps. All the oil used to make them. And then the cost. It was everywhere. On the news and I remember the issue even made it into a few TV shows we were watching. Everyone was anti-disposable diaper. Diaper washing services popped up. We had several diaper washing services in our town… they would drive their trucks to your door and pick up your cloth diapers, wash them and return them in no time.

Then it dawned on me how stupid this was. All the detergents going down into the drain, the energy and water used to wash them. The fact how horribly they worked compared to the disposable. Then you had the safety pins which were obviously not as safe as the tape.
Our deception lasted about 2 weeks and then we said screw this. Eventually it just went away. I would not be surprised if that whole issue comes back again with another generation.

JellyToast on August 18, 2012 at 8:06 AM

Not to mention, you need a HazMat suit to dispose of the energy-saving green, excuse me, mercury-filled toxic light bulbs.

And, then there’s those low-flow green toilets that use such less water, you need to flush at least twice, and use more chemicals in cleaning them then ever before.

Not to mention saving tiny little fish causing a shortage of produce in our country (see California).

The inmates are truly running the asylum.

so-notbuyingit on August 18, 2012 at 8:38 AM

…strong canvas sacks.
They are great, actually. Can carry all the stuff, one trip from the car, never rips.

PaleoRider on August 17, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Exactly. One, two trips max. I’ve been using them for about three years. Easier, actually.

98ZJUSMC on August 17, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Ditto, but here’s the thing:

Nobody had to tell me NOT to put raw meat in the canvas bag. That’s just… stupid. OF COURSE the meat is contaminating the bag.

So for a change, I benefited from lefties coercing me to buy green, canvas bags… but I still use plastic to carry meat. And then I throw the plastic away, ’cause it’s contaminated.

Duh…

philwynk on August 18, 2012 at 8:44 AM

“… it looks like the eco-trendy set, in pushing for more plastic grocery-bag bans, may inadvertently be perpetuating a policy that could be causing a rise in food-borne illnesses.”

Do you think they actually care about that?

Like natural gas. Do they care that it’s “clean”?

petefrt on August 18, 2012 at 9:02 AM

CFL bulbs that aren’t properly disposed can release heavy metals into the water cycle.

Transpo on August 17, 2012 at 10:29 PM

I actually did the calculation to determine how much energy the US saves if every incandescent light bulb gets replaced by a CFL bulb, and the alleged 40% electricity savings of those bulbs is realized.

Residential use constitutes 11% of our nation’s electrical demand; 70% of our electricity goes to industrial users.

Within residences, lighting constitutes 9% of our needs; the bulk of our residential electricity goes to appliances, like the refrigerator and the microwave oven.

.4 x .11 x .09 = .00396. If 100% of our residential lighting is provided by CFL bulbs, we’ve reduced electrical demand by 4/10 of 1%.

I don’t know how they manage it, but every single policy produced by the enviros is a failure. You would think that a group attempting to improve policy would get something right now and then, but… so far as I know, their record is perfect. Every policy makes things worse, and helps no one.

philwynk on August 18, 2012 at 9:05 AM

.4 x .11 x .09 = .00396. If 100% of our residential lighting is provided by CFL bulbs, we’ve reduced electrical demand by 4/10 of 1%.

philwynk on August 18, 2012 at 9:05 AM

+1

petefrt on August 18, 2012 at 9:10 AM

But I also think its stupid to tell people who they can marry..or arrest people for marijuana.

But that’s just me..

Politricks on August 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

So I guess you think it’s stupid that:

– an adult may not marry a child without the permission of the child’s parents;

– one may not marry a close relative;

– one may not be coerced into marriage;

– both partners in the marriage must be conscious and sentient (you can’t marry a person who is in a coma);

– it’s not a marriage if one makes a permanent commitment to one’s pet, one’s tree, one’s farm animals, one’s barn, one’s shrub, or one’s automobile. “Human” is a relevant criterion.

Just incredibly stupid. How dare we. [/sarc]

Marriage, a universal, human institution, is simply defined as a permanent, legal bond between a male and a female with at least the marginal possibility of procreation. Everywhere in the world. Always has been. Always will be.

No act of the legislature nor imposition by an oppressive court will make what homosexuals do with each other “marriage.” What is stupid is attempting to change the nature of our species by legislative fiat to accommodate the dementia produced by compulsive, sexual disorders. THAT is stupid.

philwynk on August 18, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Packaged meat, poultry, and seafood leaking raw juices into reusable bags is a bad, bad thing, especially if the ba[g] is made of cloth.

farsighted on August 17, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Even using store bags, I won’t let meats go unwrapped. They end up in a plastic bag. Anyone who doesn’t do that, and doesn’t wash their reusable bag afterwards, is asking to be made a petri dish for nasty bugs.

you’d have to re-use the bag something like 150 times to make it worth it, which is way less than most people use their own bags.

JohnInCA on August 17, 2012 at 7:16 PM

How do you know people use them less than 150 times? At 1 shopping trip per week, that’s only 3 years of use. At 3 trips per week, it works out to 1 year. And, you can use them for other things – taking food to a potluck, for example, or carrying home purchases from other stores. Oh, and don’t let them fool you – these folks are using the same math the greenies use when making their arguments.

And without plastic bags, how am I supposed to wrap up my garbage? Just throw it in the can, and have the wind blow the can over and have garbage all over the neighborhood? And have maggots and associated disease breed in the can? To stop plastic bags in landfills, which take up essentially ZERO space?

Paul-Cincy on August 17, 2012 at 7:18 PM

First, how did you wrap up your garbage before plastic grocery sacks? I used these neat things called “garbage bags”. You can find them in most stores, and they come in different sizes to fit different trash cans. MAggots and disease breeding in your trash can isn’t an issue of bags, but an issue of you not washing the thing out once in a while. (And, yes, you should, even if you use bags.) I don’t get upset about bags in landfills, but blowing around everywhere. Which leads to…

Isn’t this more a question of folks not having the fundamental good sense to not throw trash out in an improper fashion. Isn’t this more about littering? Littering is bad. Recyclable plastic bags are not litter. They are a one time sanitary method of transporting food from store to home. Shouldn’t we be impressing on folks not to litter and instead to recycle? Give a hoot don’t pollute.

Bmore on August 17, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Except that they so often *are* litter. One of the side consequences of using a reusable bag is that people won’t just toss it out the car window when they take out their soda and candy bar. (For the persons mentioning disposable diapers, I’ve seen more examples of diapers wrapped in plastic grocery sacks then dropped in a parking lot and such than I care to count – a double whammy.) Plastic sacks and cigarette butts are probably the most common litter items.

Ironically, what these bans don’t address is paper and plastic bags used by fast food joints. Those (and the ones from your corner drug store or quicky-mart, also probably not affected) are probably the majority of the litter problem.

Exactly. One, two trips max. I’ve been using them for about three years. Easier, actually.

Force me to use them? I’ll punch you’re *****in lights out.

98ZJUSMC on August 17, 2012 at 7:40 PM

This, exactly. I think reusable bags are great, but I don’t want the government telling me – or the stores I patronize – how we have to cart about the groceries I purchase.

GWB on August 18, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Here is what will happen….

meat will drip into cloth bag. Some little kid will get sick and die from the bag. The parents will sue the grocery chain. Large settlement to pay off the parents and their lawyers. Government will get involved and create strict packaging laws forcing the grocery chain to package all their product differently. This will jack up pricing of food and also raise operating costs of grocery chain so they have to close stores and lay off thousands. Plus, the extra plastic needed for the “improved” packaging could choke all the polar bears on the planet.

Way to think it through, greenies!

What we should ban is douche bags

Ditkaca on August 18, 2012 at 10:53 AM

I wonder how reusable bags could possibly be efficient for people who have large families to shop for. I mean, single people–sure, keeping a couple of bags in the car or carrying a couple of bags into the store isn’t a big deal. But I’m guessing that people who shop for large households are having to lug around a ridiculous pile of the things just to be sure they have enough.

Really? Just how big do you think these things are? I can fit about 10-20 of them inside one other bag. So, I have enough for a whole grocery cart’s worth of food that all fits in the space of one grocery sack.

Also…does anybody seriously think college kids/young singles who don’t have access to their own washers and dryers and who have to pay for each load separately (usually with a finite number of quarters that were squeezed out of a very tight budget) are actually going to go to the trouble of washing those bags regularly? Seriously?

Really? You think they need to do a whole load just for their grocery sacks? Are these young singles the same folks from your previous example? Why not simply use a little dish soap and scrub them out in your sink? (A lot of the reusable ones aren’t cotton, and would not wash well in a laundry washing machine, anyway.)

the bans may not be that big of an inconvenience.

butterflies and puppies on August 17, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Whether they are an inconvenience or not, bans shouldn’t be imposed. But, when arguing against them, try to muster stronger arguments.

GWB on August 18, 2012 at 10:55 AM

They utterly destroyed the black family unit with welfare and are systematically committing genocide in the black community with abortion. Do you think they’re going to care about a little e coli?

Odysseus on August 18, 2012 at 11:13 AM

so-notbuyingit on August 18, 2012 at 8:38 AM

No need to yell.

GWB on August 18, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Reading this piece and the comments. Hard to believe that there are so many people with such strong opinions that have little knowledge of what they are talking about.

There is a very viable third alternative that no one mentions. It is the bio degradable plastic bay. They break down to garden mulch in 6 to 12 months. The resins are made in this country (CERP) a green company that has never taken a $.01 from the US Government, and the bags are used world wide. Except in this country. Go Figure.

jpcpt03 on August 18, 2012 at 2:02 PM

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