One of the things that bothers me about my hometown is that thanks to mostly transplants from Elsewhere, we get lots of stupid ideas, and those stupid ideas refuse to die. Worse, because people want to Do The Right Thing, everyone buys into them, even though it’s all a fraud.
Today, we have a Grade-A example of one that drives me nuts every time I hear about it: San Francsico’s Alleged “Ban” on Plastic Shopping Bags.
“Mayor” Newsom and “Supervisor” Ross Mirkarimi can’t spend more than a few moments without bleating out that San Francsico “banned” plastic bags. The problem is both of them are spewing compostable waste out their mouths every time they say this.
That’s because we DID NOT BAN PLASTIC BAGS, people. Yes, San Francisco, despite all your pseudo-enviornmental chatter, plastic bags are a mainstay of SF shopping. And yet, despite this reality, there’s our City Hall, bragging about how frakking eco/green/whatever we all are, and now want to charge for paper bags. Oh, how frakking “green” of you, guys.
Here’s why San Francisco’s elected “leaders” suck. They did indeed ban plastic bags – but ONLY at “chain stores.” Everyone Else gets to keep using plastic bags (aka Satan’s Chalice). Since I often shop at local produce markets and small businesses, I’ve got a huge collection of them sitting in my storage drawer in the kitchen. You can see a picture of them right here. I guess saving the earth is only the work of “chain stores.” Everyone Else can continue to rape the Earth, then?
The fact that San Francisco does this is another example of how two-faced and hypocritical people are when it comes to environmental issues. Apparently it’s not kicking Mother Nature in the ass with a steel-toed boot when you use a plastic bag at the corner liquor store, but is when you shop at Safeway or Whole Paycheck.
I’m sorry, but that is bogus. Either plastic bags are indeed bad, or they are not. This kind of half-assed policymaking makes the assertion that bags are evil meaningless – if they are bad, then why, oh why, politicians, do you continue to allow them to be used?
Fun fact: Ireland did a true ban on bags by imposing a fee on them that was for everyone – not just chains. Within a year 90+% of folks were using some form of reusable bag, and today, the use of a plastic bag over there apparently is akin to not scooping up your dog’s poop.
I realize that when people have eyes for higher office, having a long list of “feel good” policies to promote makes everyone happy. But here’s a news flash “Governor” Newsom and “Mayor” Mirkarimi: neither of you have the political courage to actually ban plastic bags, or impose true restrictions on disposables. Both of you are cowards who easily stick the costs of “saving the earth” to chains, but have no will to actually do something meaningful, like banning these alleged Bags of Evil entirely.
This is the typical San Francisco fuckup. We love to tell everyone what to do, but when we’re asked to live up to our alleged beliefs, we don’t. We will always tell everyone to be “green” and do lots of showboaty things, but we’ll be damned if we give up plastic bags and our right to free parking, damnit.
UPDATE: Mere moments after posting SF Weekly has a story on it too – and of course, the politicians don’t want to return their calls.