Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Paper or plastics ? When freedom of choice goes too far...

That's me on the right. Don't know who the other dude is but he had a stupid hat on.

Paper or plastic? It's a question that has tormented progressives in the check-out line for decades. On one hand, paper bags are biodegradable - but they result in massive clearcuts that scar the landscape. Plastic bags, on the other hand, don't require the destruction of trees and really come in handy when huffing paint. But one can't ignore the millions of innocent sea mammals that perish every year attempting to ingest plastic bags, or by using them to explore the wonders of auto-erotic asphyxiation. So which of the two evils does an environmentally-conscious, green-thinking progressive choose? And then, how do we force everyone else to do the same?

The answer didn't come easy to the Seattle City Council. The Founding Fathers obviously didn't intend for Freedom of Choice to include things that have nothing to do with abortion. Yet if the city banned paper and plastic bags outright, people would just find other ways to carry their groceries home. And without plastic grocery bags, what would the city's homeless use for hats? The solution, it seemed, was cloudier than Amy Winehouse's urine. Luckily, the council had a veritable wellspring of wisdom to turn to for advice - Seattle's Progressive Community.

Anyhoo, I suggested that until society has evolved to the point that people no longer succumb the consumerist urge to buy groceries, a 20 cent tax per bag could be placed on all shoppers in order to discourage them from using grocery bags in much the same way that sin taxes have wiped out drinking, smoking, and gambling in our fair state.

Change will come, but it won't happen overnight. Just this morning, I saw a guy carrying two plastic bags full of groceries past the gay bathhouse, totally oblivious to the harm he was doing to society. But there are things we as progressives can do to lead the selfish idiot herds by example. For instance, I now carry all my food home from the grocery store completely bag-free, box-free, and jar-free, one handful at a time. I get some nasty stares while trying to pass my organically-grown creamed corn over the self-service scanners, but the needs and wants of the Community far outweigh any discomfort I feel over questions about my sanity.

See BlameBush!

No comments: