Did you catch David Lazarus’ defense article for the plastic bag industry in the Sunday Los Angeles Times business section? What a joke. The whole piece took the side of the plastic industry, which argues that bags are harmless and that banning them will cost the public money and cause people to lose jobs. There was little mention of impacts to the marine environment, let alone the economic impacts of disposal, recycling and clean-up.
Why didn’t he take this tack even further? Maintaining plastic bags in the environment keeps the need for public works staff to clean out catch basins and stormdrains. State taxpayers spend more than $25 million each year to collect and dispose of these goodies. Talk about an economic driver!
Don’t forget the need to keep the beach maintenance workers employed to clean up the beaches. Keep the pollution coming. And finally, where would Heal the Bay be without plastic bags to track? Would we really need 350 cleanups a year without the harmful bags? The bags are keeping us in business!
Clearly, the article’s premise is preposterous. Personally, I’m more than a little peeved because I spent a half hour talking to the guy and I shot down every myth he trotted out.
No mention of HtB, nor a direct quote from me. (I spent some time talking about the need for the nefarious Stephen Joseph, cartoonish attorney for the Save the Plastic Bag folks, to take off his custom-tailored suit and check out Compton Creek to see the damage done by plastic bags.)
David, if you don’t want to include HtB in your article because it detracts from the premise that bigger, stronger plastic bags are the green solution we’ve been looking for, then that’s fine. Just don’t quote me throughout without attribution.
Wait. Here’s a painfully obvious solution. If the plastic bag manufacturers can convert their plants to produce bigger and tougher bags, then why don’t they go all the way by producing reusable bags. That way, all our durable plastic bags wouldn’t have to come from Asia!!
Maybe Lazarus needs a roadie to Compton Creek too. I’d be glad to host.