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In the Bag

Nov
4
2005

San Francisco has an enduring homeless problem, erratic public transport, a grandstanding mayor, and serious issues with drugs and crime. Therefore, the city of San Francisco has decided to do what it can to make the city a better place to live: eliminate the plastic bag. Never mind the enduring utility of the plastic bag. It can be used over and over; it is sterile; it compacts nicely; it’s great for pet owners; it’s a wonderful trash can liner; and sweating containers of cold soda or milk don’t burst through at odd moments. This is all irrelevant to the city administration, which has decided that the average lives – and choices – of the citizenry are for naught set against notions of overflowing landfill and marginal threats to marine life.

So San Franciscans must learn to live without double-bagging for heavy grocery items – and whatever other inconvenience the stores must dream up as they seek to fulfill the city-imposed goal, apparently arbitrary, of 10 million fewer plastic bags handed out by the end of 2006. It’s a minor inconvenience, to be sure: but the idea that the city administration feels free to impose it is a major problem. One supposes that in a sane world, the citizens would ignore this manner of interference. This, though, is San Francisco, where the firm hand of the Leader is sought and beloved:

I think it’s really important for the government to get involved on this daily level of people’s lives,” said [Toronto transplant Jamie Kim, 28, had only been living in San Francisco for a day]. “If it’s citywide, people will react as a community. People shy away from being titled as a ‘green person,” but if it’s something we have to do, it’s different.“

Thus it is, plastic bag by plastic bag, we march together toward Camelot by the Bay.

Share  Posted by Josh Trevino at 3:48 PM | Permalink

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