Walk us through change
September 1, 2011
This is an answer to two bag-fee letters that appeared in the Aspen Times on Aug 30. Patrick Collins intimates that Glenwood’s recent boom summer could collapse when bag fees are enacted.
Italy has been largely plastic-bag-free for years, and an Italy-wide ban went into effect Jan. 1, 2011. My point is that Italy still gets lots of tourists. There is zero evidence that bag fees hurt tourism, none.
Sue Driggers in Blue Lake got her undies in a bunch about, let’s see, government intrusion, sanitation, excess energy consumption, stupidity and so on – whew. The notion proffered by Sue that reusable bags intrinsically attract more cooties than her own jeans is patently nuts. Statistically, there are zero cases of ER visits from folks poisoned by reusable bags. Sue’s cooties are all in her head.
To Ms. Driggers (and elected deciders who might be reading) I’d say, change is hard! But we adapted to: safe propellants in aerosol cans, airplane smoking bans, parking fees, seat belts, catalytic converters – government mandates, all.
A plastic bag is not a right or a liberty, but merely a convenience that we got sucked into paying for to the tune of $4 billion annually, passed through to us as upcharges on necessities.
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Four billion bucks would restock a lot of food banks. Ms. Driggers, try this: Cart your groceries to your car without bags. Box your own groceries at your trunk. (Don’t forget to return your cart.)
All the while remember that before 1977, we had no plastic grocery bags, and that even Hefty bags are a fairly new thing.
Then Google the underpinnings of bag bans in Spain, Norway, Thailand, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Ireland, Italy, Australia, China, – 25 percent of the planet so far – before your next breathless letter to the editor.