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The Perverse Panic over Plastic. The campaign against disposable bags and other products is harming the planet and the public.
City Journal ^ | Winter 2020 | John Tierney

Posted on 02/24/2020 7:20:47 AM PST by karpov

Why do our political leaders want to take away our plastic bags and straws? This question is even more puzzling than a related one that I’ve been studying for decades: Why do they want us to recycle our garbage?

The two obsessions have some common roots, but the moral panic over plastic is especially perverse. The recycling movement had a superficial logic, at least at the outset. Municipal officials expected to save money by recycling trash instead of burying or burning it. Now that recycling has turned out to be ruinously expensive while achieving little or no environmental benefit, some local officials—the pragmatic ones, anyway—are once again sending trash straight to landfills and incinerators.

The plastic panic has never made any sense, and it’s intensifying even as evidence mounts that it’s not only a waste of money but also harmful to the environment, not to mention humans. It’s been a movement in search of a rationale for half a century. During the 1970s, environmentalists like Barry Commoner wanted the government to restrict the use of plastic because it was made from petroleum, which we needed to hoard because we would soon run out of it. When the “energy crisis” proved a false alarm, environmentalists looked for new reasons to panic.

They denounced plastic for not being biodegradable in landfills. They blamed it for littering the landscape, clogging sewer drains, and contributing to global warming. Plastic from our “throwaway society” was killing vast numbers of sea creatures, according to Blue Planet II, a 2017 BBC documentary series that became an international hit. Its depictions of sea turtles, dolphins, and whales in jeopardy prompted Queen Elizabeth II to ban plastic straws and bottles from the royal estates

(Excerpt) Read more at city-journal.org ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: envirowhackos; plastic; recycling; shopping
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1 posted on 02/24/2020 7:20:47 AM PST by karpov
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To: karpov
The big problem is that "reusable" bags can be a MAJOR source of spreading many communicable diseases if you don't wash the bags on a regular basis. There's a reason why my cloth reusable bags get washed in a washing machine once a month.
2 posted on 02/24/2020 7:25:46 AM PST by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's Economic Cure)
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To: karpov

Nothing comes without a ‘cost’. Even posters, rallies, and blogging against plastic have an environmental cost (paper, trash, travel, electricity, etc).

The global warming scare industry has HUGE environmental impact costs for all of their blather. If they wanted to stop polluting they’d shut the hell up.


3 posted on 02/24/2020 7:26:03 AM PST by a fool in paradise (Everyone knows Hillary was corrupt, lied, destroyed documents, and influenced witnesses. Rat crime.)
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To: karpov

The demonKKKrats’ America: banning plastic straws and bags while handing-out hypodermic needles, indicting the NRA as terrorists while allowing Antifa, BLM etc to riot in the streets, leaving Veterans homeless while giving free healthcare and college education to criminal illegal aliens. Plastic straws and bags? Heh.


4 posted on 02/24/2020 7:27:12 AM PST by carriage_hill (A society grows great when old men plant trees, in whose shade they know they will never sit.)
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To: karpov

In NYC we have an Italian market chain, Iavarone’s, which uses the sturdiest plastic bags around. They are now selling their stock in boxes of 1000 for $45. They can be reused. Are great for disposing of cat litter. I bought a box of a 1000. Hope to live long enough to use them all.


5 posted on 02/24/2020 7:27:58 AM PST by xkaydet65
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To: karpov

Political leaders?? No, just leftist liberal whack-jobs exercising their rabid desire to USE POWER TO TAKE THINGS AWAY from the free public.


6 posted on 02/24/2020 7:30:19 AM PST by EagleUSA
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To: karpov

Crazy people need something to focus on. Plastics works for them.


7 posted on 02/24/2020 7:32:10 AM PST by allendale (.)
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To: karpov
HELP THE ENVIRONMENT!!!! GET RID OF PLASTIC BAGS!!!!

Use that oh so chic and relevant cloth bag to carry your gallon of Milk (in Plastic jug!), your bread (in plastic bag), your cheese (in individual plastic wraps), your meat (wrapped in plastic), Your condiments (in plastic bottles, oh and your ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY bottled water (in plastic of course).

8 posted on 02/24/2020 7:38:09 AM PST by commish (Freedom tastes Sweetest to those who have fought to preserve it!)
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To: karpov

Just keep this as a handy rule of thumb. It will help you judge the merit of various arguments on various subjects:

Everything every liberal says is a lie. Every single time.


9 posted on 02/24/2020 7:39:47 AM PST by samtheman (Virginia takes guns. NY legalizes crime. Chicago mass murders. SF poops streets. DEMOCRATS)
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To: karpov

There is a huge mass of discarded plastic in the middle of the Pacific ocean. The problem is in peoples’ actions - not allowing plastic articles to go into storm sewers, into rivers, and into the ocean.

Banning plastic bags will not solve the problem.


10 posted on 02/24/2020 7:49:58 AM PST by I want the USA back (We have sunk to a depth where restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men:Orwell)
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To: allendale

Oregon is full of them...crazies, that is


11 posted on 02/24/2020 7:51:35 AM PST by goodnesswins (Want to know your family genealogy? Run for political office...")
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To: karpov
Plastic bags were introduced to replace paper bags. Paper bag come from trees, a renewable resource that adds oxygen to the atmosphere while taking in carbon dioxide. Paper bags are biodegradable. Why not go back to paper bags?
12 posted on 02/24/2020 8:01:33 AM PST by Nevadan
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To: allendale

13 posted on 02/24/2020 8:10:49 AM PST by gundog ( Hail to the Chief, bitches!)
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To: karpov

Here in Ct they made it law that people would have to pay 10 cents a bag. So people did what people do, and that is improvise. They just steal the grocery stores hand baskets.


14 posted on 02/24/2020 8:12:31 AM PST by Snook79 ( A small)
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To: karpov

No one says a word bout disposable diapers. By volume, I would guess that they are a much larger problem than anything else plastic.

Plastic grocery bags DO dissolve in less than 3 years. Cornstarch is in them now, and I have ones in my garage that are flaking apart.


15 posted on 02/24/2020 8:18:45 AM PST by ridesthemiles
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To: Nevadan

Why not go back to paper bags? Here are a few reasons:

Making paper is a very polluting process.
Paper bags tear and get wet.
They cost more
They do not biodegrade in landfills where most trash ends up. Nothing does.

Plastic bags are made from natural gas, not oil (polyethylene), and we have more natural gas that we know what to do with.

If we burned our waste, as we really should, we could recover all the BTUs locked in the plastic and paper and turn it into energy.


16 posted on 02/24/2020 8:20:00 AM PST by JeanLM (Obama proves melanin is just enough to win elections)
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To: xkaydet65

bring your own reusable cloth bags is a common sense approach


17 posted on 02/24/2020 8:27:03 AM PST by ronnie raygun (nick dip .com)
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To: JeanLM
Thanks for the info presented in a calm and rational manner. Meanwhile, I am surprised that paper bags aren’t biodegradable in landfills.
18 posted on 02/24/2020 8:35:47 AM PST by Nevadan
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To: ridesthemiles
No one says a word bout disposable diapers. By volume, I would guess that they are a much larger problem than anything else plastic.

A few years ago I remember reading that environmental groups gave up about trying to get people to not use disposable diapers. The convenience was just too great to not use them.

19 posted on 02/24/2020 8:37:32 AM PST by IndyTiger
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To: karpov

I’ve read several articles by this guy. He makes great well thought out arguments against recycling.

When we moved to Maryland, our town charged for trash by the bag but recycling was free, so we dumped a bunch of trash in the bin. I refused to allow my wife and kids to use water to wash out our trash.

Last year, they changed and issued us large rolling bins, one for trash and one for recycling. The recycling bin gets used a couple times a year, because it holds lots of leaves and yard waste. Otherwise, it site behind the house.

I refuse to play their stupid games.


20 posted on 02/24/2020 8:42:41 AM PST by cyclotic (Democrats must be politically eviscerated, disemboweled and demolished.)
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