Where is the logic? Shopping bags versus garbage bags

So I was at Von’s the other day and heard someone complaining about the fact that they left their shopping bag they previously paid for at home and will need to shell out another fifty cents for new ones for all their groceries when they leave. I thought to myself , meh, and then found myself in the kitchen section where they have a plethora of “plastic” garbage and kitchen bags.

The argument about no more producing of plastic shopping bags was that they make it into our landfills as a toxic and non-biodegradable item and that the manufacturing produces gases which destroy our atmosphere – I wont debate the latter – yet there I stood in front of a dozen manufacturers of plastic bags of all assorted sizes. Unless I am missing something and even the production on garbage bags is supposed to end, the argument over plastic bags just died at my feet.

So I stand in line for checkout and most people have their ten cent cloth bags, which are supposed to have been made from recycled cloth products, but some are opting for the paper bag – double bagged even, for things like their milk. I thought to myself that this even makes less sense. Offer a paper bag that was cut from a tree somewhere that also impacts our environment by removing trees which help filter, as well as create, oxygen. Regardless of whether or not the bag has the recycled from logo on it, not all bags make it long term so they have to be replaced at some point by a new tree, or at least parts of trees that are recycled from discarded construction material.

While in line I started to think about how much money these grocery stores are actually making off of what I personally consider to be a scam. I figured it out later. If you calculate a daily customer visit (hypothetically) of lets say 1,000 customers and multiply that by 2 bags at ten cents each (.20 cents) that’s $200 a day, $1400 a week, $5600 a month, $67,200 a year. That’s significant because its money these stores would otherwise not be making.

On my drive home I recalled some of the shopping my wife and I do at small mom and pop shops, as well as shopping retailers like JCPenny, Sears, WalMart, KMart, etc., and they all still offering plastic bags. So it seems like the only people really making out here are the major chain grocery stores.

In any regard, the very person who woke up one day and said to themself, “Gee I’m just going to upset everything by making a bill to ban plastic shopping bags, put thousands of people out of work and plastic bag manufacturers out of business” I think needs a reality check on what they have started. Not that I don’t think this new system is not working, I just feel it is in conflict given the originating landfill argument to stop the manufacturing of plastic shopping bags when plastic “garbage” bags are making their way to landfills, and in greater numbers.

Whats next? Banning the manufacturing of automobile tires because the rubber will never biodegrade and they are more toxic to our environment than shopping bags? Banning motor oil, transmission fluid, shampoo bottles, diapers, printer ink?

This is just a rant so don’t hate me, just debate me.

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