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.