[Summit] Plastic Bags

Aaron Smuts asmuts at gmail.com
Wed Mar 28 18:55:36 CDT 2018

You do realize that no one has address the substantive points I raised.
Cheering on your side is not helpful. In fact, I haven't even picked a
side. I'm on the let's hold off on creating laws that might not do any
good, laws that might actually cause harm.

[And I haven't presented any argument against the crude utilitarian
justification offered above for reducing freedoms.  ex.  Sure a large soda
ban might have a positive health impact. But so what? What right do you
have to tell me that I can't have a Big Gulp.  Go to hell mommy. . . . <--
I didn't run that argument.  I'll be happy to if needed. . . ]

I merely noted that there is controversy about the fundamental issue: Would
banning plastic bags have a positive impact on the environment and on human

[The poor-people-can't afford a $.10 bag is ridiculous. But let's put that
aside.  I'll let the progressives kill their own on that hill.]

If you are concerned about re-use, notice that people do indeed re-use the
plastic bags, very frequently.  Something will have to take the place of
the bags used for cat little, dog poo, small trash cans, and homeless
excrement. . . .

Other kinds of bags have a larger environmental impact to produce, or so
some say. And the re-usable bags present potential health issues. . . .

I don't know enough about the issue to answer the fundamental question
definitively. The bigger problems is that many of the people here who are
so ready to pass a law don't know either.  That scares me.

It might feel good to rally behind some cause like this. But you might not
be doing any good. You might be causing harm.


On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 7:09 PM, Sandra Lee <sandralee02906 at gmail.com>

> Bravo Gayle and thank you.
> Best
> Sandra Lee
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Mar 28, 2018, at 5:34 PM, Gayle Gifford <gayle at ceffect.com> wrote:
> I'm not happy that the Mayor vetoed this bill as it was not new to him and
> I'd be very surprised that his own sustainability staff didn't work on this.
> As Greg said, around the world, in communities rich and poor, folks reuse.
> Our throw it away plastic culture is helping to kill species diversity on
> this planet.   Those 3 Rs are in priority order: Reduce first, Reuse 2nd,
> Recycle 3rd.  https://storyofstuff.org/
> There is a lot of learning about behavioral change on how to move people
> from contemplation to action to maintaining a new behavior. Education is
> only one part of it. Skills building is a part. And putting in place
> systems-wide changes that move more people to action and maintain the
> desired behavior are important aspects of change.  This approach has worked
> to reduce the number of smokers and it has made smoking around other people
> in the US a big no-no.
> I'm wondering what attempts, if any, were made to find ways to purchase
> and distribute low cost, light weight  re-usable bags for those who can't
> afford them. And for those of us who have too many to share them. Or to put
> that extra 10c on our purchase to support another family. I'm guessing our
> grocery stores and other stores will save a lot of money when their bag
> costs (plastic and paper) have been cut dramatically.
> There is a lot more we can do that benefit us all. We should have a pay as
> you throw fee in Providence. The increase in fees at the landfill will cost
> the city another $400,000 this year.   https://www.ecori.org/
> composting/2017/5/18/providence-steps-up-waste-
> reduction-efforts-as-landfill-raises-tipping-fees.
> Gayle Gifford
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