The Plastic Ban That Makes Things Worse…

There’s something called the law of unintended consequences and for every action there’s a reaction. The so-called ‘single use’ plastic ban is a perfect example of this.

Far left city councils in many places, including my jurisdiction, have banned plastic bags. I may be in the minority, but I’m not alone, based on my informal surveys of neighbours, friends and family. The single use was actually a first use to get my groceries home. Then I used them for storing stuff, for liquids, to wrap paint stuff for a few days, and finally for my kitchen garbage. Last week, when I ran out, I had to purchase kitchen bags. Yes, I had to PAY to buy more, to buy STRONGER and BIGGER…all for no reason.

The smallest (Costco) bags I could find are almost twice as big as the flimsy grocery store bags. They’re also a lot thicker plastic. Sure, I can still use them for other stuff, but the day they end up in my kitchen, I use less than half of one with my small kitchen garbage.

Over a decade ago I helped a friend dig up her garden and we found a bunch of black garbage bags that had been used as liners for years. They were dirty, but otherwise in fine shape. That was my wakeup call to be really diligent in recycling plastic. Today, I’ve given up trying.

The new laws are forcing me to use at least 2 1/2 times the amount of plastic as I did before the bans. Sad but true.

This is environmental theatre. In my case, it’s a law that’s easy to implement and makes things worse and not better. The “real” single use plastics are the wrap on ham, the ketchup bottles, and the liners and wrappers in a half dozen things I bought my last grocery trip. Eight things that are REAL single-use plastics. But politicians wanted to seem to do something and the path of least resistance is banning shopping bags.

There are now companies who have developed bio-degradable plastic bags. But don’t bet on any of them ever being allowed for use. It would defeat the politicians’ environmental theatre.

As of today, pizza boxes can’t be recycled. Sure, they’re cardboard, but the grease from the pizza won’t allow it. And all those containers from margarine to yogurt that have a number on the bottom making to “recyclable” aren’t recycled anywhere. Soft plastics never are. Why can you put these items into your blue bag in most cities? Because politicians don’t want to advertise that fact.

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