Monday, November 19, 2012

B.Y.O.B- Bring Your Own Bag. The Green Police have arrived!

Yeah, this commercial was so funny when it came out.  And when those select few furrowed their brow in worry and started to quibble about the reality of the Green Police in the future, you slapped your knee and shoved another Cheeto in your mouth because it was the Super Bowl. 

Well, it looks like Mendocino County has taken the trendy step of readjusting people’s buying habits in regards to bags.  Starting in January, all plastic bags will be banned from stores in Mendocino County and all paper bags will cost a dime.  The idea mainly revolves around the environmental impact of plastic bags (of which hardly any are recycled) and their paper counter-parts (of which more than half are recycled). 

I’ve of two minds about plastic bag bans.  First, I get how environmentally unsound the practice of plastic really is, and that figuring out how to get them out of landfills and off the street should be a priority.  Paper bags are another matter, and the way the city has rigged the ten cent charge is kind of a joke. 

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That’s funny, because from every angle I’m viewing it from, that is a classic definition of a tax.  And to not call it a tax is kind of like saying that Cop Rock wasn’t shitty television if you watched it with the sound off.  And even worse, this tax doesn’t go back to the city for services that it desperately needs, it’s basically a tax that goes right into the pockets of those big corporations that the city regularly slams as being anti-competitive, which the city has decided to become a part of with this idiotic measure.

What does this mean for the consumer?  Well, Wal-Mart instituted a bag ban a couple of years ago and what this created was a significant drop in my overall visits to Wal-Mart.  In a time of economic distress for the valley, the city has managed to engage the population in a scenario that will reduce trips to the supermarket and decrease overall revenue for the city.  Carrying your own bags around is an inconvenience when doing significant shopping trips and I’m totally uninterested in dealing with it. 

That, and having to deal with the new Green Police.  

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