Tuesday, November 30, 2004

My Kind of Town

San Francisco is considering charging grocery stores 17 cents each as a tax to use plastic grocery bags. These bags pile up in your house and are difficult to recycle as few places will take them (or dry cleaning plastic, for that matter.) The City of San Francisco's Department of the Environment estimates that San Francisco customers use 50 million bags yearly, with a clean up cost of $8.4 million. Obviously, the grocers and plastics manufacturers oppose this proposal.
When you drive along the main roads in Phoenix, you see plastic bags scattered in the desert, stuck on bushes, cacti and trees, with other litter. My daughter took a Desert Hummer trip last summer out into the desert to view native animals, plants, scenery, etc. When she came back, I asked what she saw. She told me she saw "lots of plastic bags." How depressing.
When you are asked "paper or plastic?", please take the paper ones or bring your own bags. If you must take plastic, reuse it or recycle it. Imagine some poor desert animal or bird caught in a carelessly discarded plastic bag. It is really unnecessary.
I could not figure out how the little clipping about the plastic bags appeared in my piles of paper, but my husband confessed that he put it there, along with stating it was "old news." But, with my piles of paper waiting to be read or recycled, there is really not any old news, just stuff waiting to be read. And he is wondering if those pink plastic bags used in San Francisco's Chinatown are recyclable. That is an excellent question.