Last Friday was the official dooms day for plastic bags in Austin. The City Council passed a measure that banned retail-level, thin, single-use bags more than a year ago, giving shoppers and store owners time to find alternative ways to get their goods home.
An article the Austin American Statesman this morning has interviews will several Austinites, most of whom were being extremely Austin-ish, saying they were willing to take one for the team if it means less pollution, although some said it's an infringement on their basic rights.
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Fred Mann brought old single-use plastic bags he had saved to buy a cart full of groceries at an H-E-B on East Seventh Street.
"I do love these plastic bags," he said. "Everybody hates change. But as long as (the ban) is good for the environment, I'm OK with it."
The problem is that plastic bags don't decompose in landfills and muck up the environments for all kinds of animals, mammals, reptiles, feathered friends and so on. Financially, the cost to clean up plastic bags that litter everything everywhere is a huge budget drain. A WSJ.com article reported that it cost San Francisco $8.5 million a year to manage the burden of plastic bags.
While private businesses don't like to be told how to run their businesses, the counter argument is that these lightweight aerodynamic vessels have a broader impact on
cities the world.
Critics, like Save The Plastic Bag coalition point out, however, that children can get burned by soup if we're forced to use paper bags. Consequences, people. There are consequences for trying to help the environment.