If you went to the store yesterday, you probably noticed that you were charged 5 cents for each plastic bag you grabbed to bag your groceries. Even worse: if you use the auto check outs like I do, the system was still a little messed up as it tried to determine the weight of your personal bag and figure out if you needed to be charged for store plastic bags and if so, how much. I was against this bag ban from the beginning, and most shoppers I encountered yesterday were as well. Lord knows what newcomers here will think. The problem is really litter and sloppy people. Why not fine people for littering rather than cause all of us an inconvenience and re-configuring of systems? Here is the wonderful Teresa Gubbins’ (CultureMap) take: love this girl, but don’t agree with her 100%. Honestly, I did not know folks were trying to blame this on President Obama! I thought it was all Dwaine Caraway. True, about 150 other cities and the looney state of California already do this, but that also means a whole lot more do not: there are about 20,000 cities in this country, and 48 other states. Here are Teresa’s myths, with my two cents added in. Which is probably all it’s worth.
Myth #1: It is our constitutional and/or God-given right to get free plastic bags at the grocery store. Being forced to pay a nickel for a plastic bag or bringing your own bag to the store is indeed a giant inconvenience. It’s possibly another step in our inexorable decline into a nanny state, where we are forced to consider someone or something besides ourselves. Ick. Having the freedom to get our groceries packed for us in plastic, that we can callously, even gleefully, toss aside minutes later, is surely an inalienable right? But disappointingly, there is no provision regarding plastic bags in the Constitution or the Bible.
Candy’s Debunking Myth#1:
Of course it’s not a constitutional right to get free bags, but independance and commerce are fiercely built into the American fabric. As is self-reliance. I have never tossed a plastic garbage bag in my life, and neither have my children, if they valued their lives. Why can people not dispose of things appropriately? Why do we have to be slobs and who raises children to foster this? You finish an apple, you put the core in the garbage. Ditto any sort of waste, including condoms. You recycle paper and plastic products appropriately. (And you are kind to animals!) We re-used our plastic garbage bags as wastebasket liners or for other uses until we disposed of them. Appropriately. The problem IS that we are becoming a nanny-state, Teresa, because we are becoming a bunch of lazy slobs who cannot pick up after ourselves. Passing this law will not change that.
Myth #2: You will be forced to carry your groceries home one item at a time. Wah if there are no free plastic bags, how can we get out groceries from Point A (the supermarket) to Point B (our refrigerator)? Good news: Plastic bags are still available! They’ll just cost you 5 cents. As well as an entire array of sack-like objects people have used over the centuries to transport goods. You could put them in a knapsack. A large bandanna. A box. There are even reusable bags, made of canvas or recycled plastic, which you can bring with you when you enter the store. (There’s no getting past the fact that bringing your own bag makes you look like a pussy or, worse, like someone who thinks ahead.)
Candy’s Debunking Myth #2:
Good points. I did this yesterday. But these are thicker plastic bags, and some are even canvas, and what will we do when the lazy slobs who dumped the plastic bags everywhere dump these?
Myth #3: This law is a plot by President Barack Obama. President Obama did not have a personal hand in the bag law in Dallas, nor the laws passed in Austin, Santa Fe, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco or the entire state of California. He’s too busy turning our country into a socialist republic. He doesn’t have time for little things like plastic bags.
Candy’sDebunking Myth #3:
Not going to argue this one with you at all –cough cough ACA — but the blame should be on Dwaine Caraway. And Teresa my love, people are moving here from California in droves for reasons like this silly bag ban. Keep piling on the regulations, and maybe they’ll go elsewhere? I mean, Toyota did chose Plano over Dallas.
Myth #4: This will destroy the economy in Dallas. There are surely many shoppers, like agitated commenter Amber on this Dallas Morning News story, who says, “Will be shopping in cities that surround the City of Dallas. Done!!” But if you factor in the cost of driving to a neighboring city, you’re spending additional $1-$2 on gas. To save 5 cents. But that’s OK, Amber!! You’ve made your point!!
Candy’s Debunking Myth #4:
It’s already happening — everyone’s moving up north to Plano and Frisco. Cough cough, Toyota. Gas is so cheap right now, some people MIGHT actually do this. But you are right, it will not be convenient to drive outside of Dallas to shop. I will still frequent my Central Market/Whole Foods?Tom Thumb circuit and bring my own bags. They have been in my car since this law passed. I have been trying to change the HABIT of not carrying them in along with my purse, cell phone, etc. etc. It’s OK. I have always wanted to be a Bag Lady.
Myth #5: Plastic bags were previously free. The price of plastic bags has always been factored into the price of groceries, not to mention what you pay in taxes to civil servants to clean them up. You’ve been paying for plastic bags all along! Sucker.
Candy’s Debunking Myth #5:
Sucker? First of all, the price of plastic bags will STILL be figured into the price of groceries, only now we will pay twice. (Kind of like with the ACA — whoops!) Central Market told me yesterday they will not be charging extra for the bags — they use paper and will be absorbing the cost. Paying those civil servants to clean them up should not come from shoppers but from
beating fining the slobs who make the mess. But our lovely, lazy City of Dallas never bothered to enforce those laws. Fine people who litter? It’s too hard. Remember the pig blood in the Trinity?
It’s far easier just to deprive society of plastic bags altogether, much like, if one child cannot behave on the school bus, the whole class stays behind. It’s corporal punishment. That’s what bugs me about this bag ban. I’m not a fan.. If you REALLY want to do something for the environment, ban styrofoam cups and packing materials. Those are far worse, make an even bigger mess, and could be carcinogenic! Styrofoam also doesn’t biodegrade. Thank God they stopped using them at Cooper Fitness Center! The other day I saw books on Preston Road in the street, many of them run over by cars. Seems some slob had moved and one of the cartons containing books fells off the truck. Does this mean the Dallas City Council will next ban books?