Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Save The World, Ten Cents A Bag

(Title singable to a semi-familiar tune). Indiana's House, having re-rearranged the gay marriage deck chairs (now, even illegaler! That'll stop 'em, you betcha), has set their sights on another Dire Scourge of Decency: plastic grocery bags!

They want you to pay a dime per each. Oh, it's a "deposit," you get your dime back when you bring them back (no word if there's extra money if you add bonus organic chemicals by using the bags to pick up after Spot or Rover before returning them) but the primary result of that would be that bums urban outdoorsmen would have a new way to earn drinking money by picking up trash. For the rest of us it will now cost more and take that much longer to check out at the grocer's and the five-and-dime as Jane Checker counts each bag she fills and adds the "deposit" to the total.

Yeah, good plan. And why shouldn't everyone who didn't bring a bag (or choose paper? No mention of good old traditional brown paper bags carrying penalties) have to pay more? Evil planet-killers! Headline you won't see: "Grocery Bag Tax: Poor, Retired And Unemployed Hardest Hit."

I haven't got a personal dog in this fight; I dislike plastic bags and take the traditional choice anywhere it is offered. But this is just another ill-considered do-good, feel-good bill; the opponents of gay marriage can muster more coherent arguments in support of their prejudice than the save-the-Earth antibaggers can find, even with all day and a hot Internet connection.

19 comments:

ViolentIndifference said...

"the primary result of that would be that bums urban outdoorsmen would have a new way to earn drinking money by picking up trash."

Distribute the wealth.

Nathan said...

I thought those cheap brown plastic bags were originally supposed to be biodegradable to some extent and thus safe for the environment?

I guess not so much.

Ritchie said...

I took a closer look at the reusable Earth-saving fabric-looking grocery bags sold in the central Colorado area. Turns out they're made of guess what, textured plastic product. But they do make fine brass bags.

Standard Mischief said...

This bill passed in DC. The major difference is that there's no "deposit". Bags cost money and so everyone is encouraged to use the reusable ones.

I hope doggie owners are now shopping in the nearby states of Maryland and Virginia, as otherwise I'd expect to see a lot more crap as an unintended consequence of this bill.

Frank W. James said...

Just another attempt by hack politicians to distract the majority of voters from the fact they are doing absolutely nothing to make our state more inviting to private enterpise and a resulting increase in employment.

This is so dumb it is beneath even the deck chairs analogy from the Titanic...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

George in AZ said...

Quote from a national magazine, 20-odd years ago, via the grocery bagger: "So, do you want tree destroying paper or landfill destroying plastic?"

Robin said...

Hear her, hear her.

Ancient Woodsman said...

As Arnold once said, "Give me your address there." I will send you some good old plastic grocery bags. How many would you like? Free of charge.

Wow. Black market grocery bags, to go with black market light bulbs.

At least the Titanic had a band.

ViolentIndifference said...

Note to self: Buy more bulbs.

LabRat said...

This would be extraordinarily annoying to me, as in this household plastic grocery bags are neither thrown away nor reused as grocery bags; they're used as all-purpose waste bags for lining small trash cans and litterbox purposes.

I'd actually have to buy *more bags*.

Borepatch said...

Indiana seems to be turning into the Massachusetts of the Midwest.

Ian Argent said...

@Borepatch: Don't give them ideas - next they'll try and "convert" the lifetime permit to a 5-year permit and not send out renewal notices...

WV: sculpic - what the X-ray tech at the dentist's sees

jon spencer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jon spencer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jon spencer said...

One of these days I will get the proper post up.
Once more.

Maybe the Indiana House does not like corn growers.

http://www.ecoproducts.com/food_services/bags/food_service_grocery_bags_order.htm

jon spencer said...

I give up, it wont let me copy and paste a full address, it cuts off the "service_grocery_bags_order.htm" part.
Any way, the site is for american grown corn plastic grocery bags.

John A said...

"Deposit" - right... The States bordering mine have this for soda bottles and cans. For a couple of years, the large markets had machines that would give a store (not cash) receipt for them -after scanning the bar code to be sure the brand is sold there,but after a wgile they disappeared and you have to go to a collection center miles from anything else.

In my State no deposit, but if you use the recycling bins for trash, the pickup companies give a rebate to the town/city, And that is for all metals not just soda. Since there is a bin for plastics...

Last year a high school senior in Canada won a Science Fair award for having seperated out a strain of bacteria that will "eat" plastic [bags] in about two years - faster than paper bags. Several companies expressed interest and I would not be surprised to see something on the market in two or three years.

docjim505 said...

I'm guessing that most (if not all) of the counties and municipalities in Indiana already charge some sort of landfill tax, so seems like something of a double-dip.

I also recall reading an article (might even have been here, come to think of it) about all the bacteria that can come to reside on those eco-friendly reusable bags if they aren't regularly washed... which uses CO2-generating electricity and dumps detergents into the water supply.

Boy, you just can win, can you?

Wait'll the politicans realize just how much plastic is used - and THROWN AWAY! - to package food.

"That steak will cost $9.47, plus sales tax, plus a $0.10 surcharge for the styrofoam tray and plastic wrap." Bon apetit.

But wait! There's more! If you eat beef, you are contributing to methane gas emissions! THAT needs to be taxed, too!

mikee said...

At $0.10 per plastic bag, my recent trip to the store would net a small child $0.90, for essentially zero effort.

When I was a kid, I'd ride my bike 2 miles to the nearest convenience store, picking up bottles (deposit = $0.10 each) along the way and tossing them in my backpack. By the time I got to the store, I'd have enough to pig out on candy and soda pop. And my resource of tossed-out bottles self-renewed almost daily along the roadside.

Some enterprising young folk will see this bag deposit as an opportunity to make major bucks, if anyone stupidly passes such a law.