Thursday, July 14, 2011

Plastic Bag Ban

This just irritates me.  I'm all for decreasing waste, not littering, and using reusable items.  I recycle heavily, and I also try to reduce our waste.  I utilize reusable containers as much as possible.  I've been trying to convert to using reusable bags with moderate success.  We reuse, mend, repair, recycle, upcycle, hand down,  make do, and get creative as ways to reduce waste.  And I will admit that, to a point, I actually agree with the idea of not using plastic single-use bags.

However, I don't believe that a majority of Bellingham residents actually want a bag ban.  Grocery stores offer bags because consumers want them.  If we all used reusable bags, grocery stores wouldn't offer them.  I do believe that more people are changing over to using reusable bags.  Social pressure and education are having a positive impact.  

But, what really bothers me is that I don't believe that it's government's role to make this sort of decision.   I'm tired of a paternalistic government deciding what is best for us regardless of what we want.  The message continues to be, "You aren't smart/wise/informed enough to make a good decision, so we will make it for you.  If you don't agree with us, we will force you to do what we think is best."  A little power has gone to our representatives heads.  This voting season, I will be voting for candidates who will focus on core government functions and will stop meddling in areas that they should stay out of.

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