Plastics – Still the Future?

(EPA Photo/Kasia Broussalian)

By Adam Medoff

No, I don’t need a bag. Despite what cashiers think about my physique and general athletic capabilities, I swear I can carry my bagel and coffee the five blocks from the deli to my office. I don’t mean to put myself on the environmental pedestal (which happens to be located in an old growth Redwood tree and run by Rachel Carson and Julia “Butterfly” Hill…fyi). Plenty of non-eco-heroes decline plastic bags at checkouts every day. But should they even have the choice? In my hometown, San Francisco, we banned plastic bags back in 2007 and I cannot remember anyone complaining about our grave loss or reminiscing about the good ol’ days when plastic bags lined our landfills and beaches.

It’s fine, you say. Plastic bags are recyclable! Plus, even if they’re thrown out, they just go to a landfill. No big deal (though to be honest, if you are reading this blog and got the environmental pedestal joke, you probably don’t think it’s fine and at least think it’s a big-ish deal. But just play along for argument’s sake). Unfortunately, this simply isn’t the case. Environmental issues constantly provide the most extraordinary examples of “ignorance is bliss,” and plastic bags are no exception. More