I can sum up my opinion of the California plastic bag ban in one word: HOARDERS.
Have you ever seen that show? If not, get on it, and then come back to this and see if you don’t agree with me. Anybody that has ever watched an episode of Hoarders has seen the disgust that some people consider normal living. When I think of the plastic bag ban, I think of an animal hoarder with a dog boot-scoot-boogying its ass across a roach infested carpet on a cloth bag. The same bag that person will carry into a grocery store and slap up onto the counter, where it will sit for at least two minutes spreading germs. (Give or take, depending on the efficiency of the checker and the bagger.)
If I’m in line behind the Hoarder, (which I will be, especially after posting this because that’s how Karma works) the checker will swipe my salmon (beep), broccoli rabe (beep), and red wine (beep), sliding my items over to the exact spot the doggy ass bag had just been. Then the zoned out bagger (probably a teenager) will use those same hands that handled the ass scratching bag to pick up my salmon and place it in an “environmentally friendly” paper bag.
Where are the tree huggers when I need them? I’ll take a plastic bag over killing trees any day of the week and what is “environmentally friendly” about allowing people to bring their dirty germ infested bags into my local grocery store, smearing God only knows what all over the counter? What about the hardworking teenagers? They are going to be missing a lot of school after the amount of dirty cloth bags they’ll now handle in their after-school job. Do you hear me Jerry? Forget the sea otter, what about California teenagers? I feel another disease and vaccination coming on; may I suggest we name it the “California Ass Dragging Bag Vaccine 2015?”
Hey, I’m not perfect either, but I keep my bags safe from my cat and dog, lest they try to barf on them or butt drag. I can’t say the same for the trunk of my car though, I keep a cloth bag in there to use at farmers markets, but if I’m being honest, I throw my dirty shoes back there on top of that same bag and my sweaty yoga mat. (o.k. that’s only once a year when I actually attend yoga, but still relevant to my point, go with it.) Yum, just think of my dirty shoes and yoga sweat when I’m ahead of you in line forcibly using my new California friendly cloth bag!
And for those about to jump down my throat for “choking” poor sea creatures, I am taking this opportunity to tell you that I am a responsible plastic bag user. I chop mine up into small pieces when they finally have holes and I reuse the ones that only held dry products. Because, I love animals and want to keep them safe, but what about our health? That is worth protecting too. (Side-note: I want to keep them safe unless it is time for me to eat them. I am trying really hard to give up red meat, but no edible ocean creature, I repeat no edible ocean creature is safe near me.)
Plus, I love re-using my plastic bags, I keep them in my car for beach sand covered flip-flops, cleaning up emergency messes, collecting seashells, disposing of trash from my car in a pinch, and sending people home with fresh fruit in the clean bags I save in my pantry recycle tube.
A plastic bag holds twice as much as a cloth or paper bag does while giving, stretching, and emitting a crinkly song every time you handle it! And those beautifully gusseted edges allow you to fit all kinds of things in them with less bulk. (I’m fondly reminiscent already, I’m going to miss you old friend!) I also don’t think a paper bag is safe when you are a woman coming inside at night because those paper handles aren’t worth a shit and usually bust or the bottoms fall out! I also don’t want fish juice leaking all over my paper bag or cloth bag, ew.
What about the homeless people in my state; they can fit more cans in a plastic bag to earn food by scavenging instead of panhandling. (They recycle too!) When plastic bags aren’t in use, homeless people can wad them up and save them for another day with little space. I see many homeless people protecting their food and blankets from the rain by using plastic bags. They can also easily tie them onto their bicycles!
I can’t imagine how hard this is going to be on real “Germaphobes,” I’m just an amateur and I’m already in a panic. If we want to become environmentally friendly against plastic, we should start with the things people really wouldn’t mind losing like all of that plastic packaging wrapped around new books, soaps, shavers, cucumbers, CD’s, etc. Wrap that stuff in heavy-duty biodegradable (recycled) cardboard and protect my fellow Californians from ass dragged hoarder’s bags up on our food counters.