Anti-grocery bag drive picks up speed

A year or so ago I did a column on how much we could all save if we did away with plastic grocery bags — the annual consumption, I calculated, in the United States equals Utah’s entire oil production, and Utah is 10th in the nation in oil production.

Which is to say, we don’t produce a whole lot, but in these days when we’re sending billions to Saudi Arabia to buy oil from people who hate us and call us infidels and hold television telethons to raise money for suicide bombers in Israel, should we really be taking any of our oil, at all, and using it for disposable bags? Probably not.

Not to mention, the silly things cost 5 cents each. That’s a lot of money, especially when you consider the dimwit who usually bags my groceries only puts three items in each bag.

Anyway, Florida is discussing a proposal (click here) to do away with plastic bags, phasing them out and then charging people 25 cents each if they do use them. When Ireland instituted a similar fee for plastic bags a few years ago they disappeared overnight. It’s being attacked as a horrible huge tax on the poor, but it seems to be the poor are as able to buy a reusable bag as anyone else, especially since they only cost a buck each, can hold what three plastic bags can hold (6 if you get the kid who bags mine) and will pay for themselves many times over.

I’d like to see this go much wider, much faster. It’s a slight bother to have to remember your canvas bag, but that’s better than sending money to people who hate me. I would think Americans are tough enough to handle that much sacrifice.

And then Utah’s oil could go to powering Utah’s car, not clogging its landfills.

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7 Responses to Anti-grocery bag drive picks up speed

  1. Neal Humphrey says:

    Yeah! A call to eco-violence! I hate driving through the wide open spaces of the West and seeing white plastic grocery bags stuck on fences and vegetation. ‘Just makes me want to put one in the chamber …

    Good idea, Charles. I’m wit’ yous.

  2. Actually it’s not only the landfills we need to worry about – the ocean is in even worse shape :(

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch

    Mama birds are confused and feeding plastic trash to their babies, and it kills them:

    http://planetgreen.discovery.com/travel-outdoors/chris-jordan-midway-birds.html

    Use your canvas bags and use them well!!

  3. laytonian says:

    AND…..don’t forget that for every beverage you consume in a disposable plastic bottle, it’s like filling that same bottle up 1/4 full of crude oil (production of the bottle, transportation, disposal).

    I’d like to propose we put a deposit on all plastic bottles, like we used to do with glass soda bottles. In fact, bring back the glass soda bottle! Carrying all of those around, would automatically reduced consumption, or at least give everyone more exercise in toting them around.

    AND….while I’m at it. Is anyone else offended by the sugar industry’s ads complaining about a “tax on sodas and juice drinks” and how that will harm the average family’s budget?
    Folks, if your budget is going to be busted by that tax, you seriously need to look at what you are feeding your family. “Juice drink” = some flavored juice with lots of added sugar, water and artificial flavors.

  4. BILL says:

    UTAH’S OIL? AM I MISSING SOMETHING? WHEN DID UTAH START BEING AN OIL PRODUCING STATE….OUTSIDE OF A FEW DRIBBLES THAT START FIGHTS BETWEEN ECOGEEKS AND OIL COMPANIES. I’VE GOT A COROLLARY IDEA FOR MR. TRENTLEMAN. LET’S DO AWAY WITH CANNED GOODS, FROZEN FOODS (IN PACKAGES), AND CONTIANERS FOR FLUIDS (OF ALL KINDS). WE CAN CARRY EVERYTHING WE PURCHASE AT THE GROCERY STORE IN RUSTY BUCKETS. OLD BAGS, AND ANIMAL SKINS! GET A LIFE! AND START WORRYING ABOUT THE REAL PROBLEMS OUR CIVILIZATION IS FACING!!!

  5. ctrentelman says:

    From the state of utah’s Division of oil gas and mining web page viewable at http://oilgas.ogm.utah.gov/index.htm:

    “The state of Utah is ranked 13th in the country in crude oil production and 8th in natural gas production (Energy Information Administration; rankings based on 2007 production, not including Federal Offshore production areas). There are approximately 8,600 wells currently in production within the state.”

    Also: “Utah contains three of the Nation’s 100 largest oil fields, two of its 100 largest natural gas fields, two of the top 100 oil producing fields, and one of the top 10 natural gas producing fields (2007)”

    in 2008 Utah produced 22 million barrels of oil, an increase from 19 million the previous year..

    so, 13th instead of 10th, i stand corrected.

  6. ctrentelman says:

    I might add that it is a little known fact that almost all the gasoline burned in utah comes from oil produced either in Utah or Wyoming/Colorado. The reason our gasoline still costs the same as gasoline in the rest of the country is because we have to bid for it against the rest of the country on a world market.

    The reason Utah’s natural gas rates are so low is that the Utah Legislature, years ago when it was probably run by a bunch of damn liberals, along with the state’s utility regulatory agencies, told Mountain Fuel, which owns a lot of those well, that it could only charge actual production costs for gas produced from those well.

    So. Questar gets much of its gas very cheap because it produces that gas from its own wells, but the gas it has to buy on the world market it has to pay market price for, and it passes that price on to us.

  7. BILL says:

    Please do not confuse oil with natural gas. Doing so simply destroys your credibility…natural gas IS NOT oil! Using the two interchangeably is silly. You babble about natural gas….which has absolutley nothing to do with plastic bags in grocery stores! Your examples support my statements more than your own. Three (or two) out of one hundred oil producing areas doesn’t impress me as qualifying Utah as a major oil producing state. In reality, one must compare the amount of imported oil (to Utah) to the amount of oil Utah uses (totally) towards what you’re trying to prove. You need to research your pursuits a bit more…oil use in Utah is according to what company delivers it. Check your facts, my friend. Half-assed conclusions are making you look goofy. The figures simply are not there. Furthermore, oil well numbers (by state or province) are listed and tallied by the week…per starts and producers. Watch where you try to go here…you obviously know little of what you wish to discuss. I started working in the petroleum business probably before you finished grade school…and all I can offer is you’re trying to sound well-informed after skimming a small bit of information and/or hitting the high points of a couple of references, the true nature of which you were very apparently ignorant…..and/or the nature of which may or may not be valid. It’s a common problem in this day and age….anyone who reads a couple of articles…or chats with “anyone” … considers themselves an expert. Sorry…you flunked this time!

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