Re "L.A. approves plastic bag ban," June 19
While plastic carryout and grocery bags are a problem, banning their use is a draconian way to solve the problem.
As an environmentalist for 70 years, I have learned that it is better to be a good cop and use a carrot to solve environmental problems rather than be a bully and use a big stick as City Hall is doing, primarily because it gives people incentives to protect the environment.
A better way would be to charge a five-cent recycling fee on every plastic bag and require recycling centers to pay five cents for every bag returned. Imposing such a fee will ensure that plastic bags will no longer be a problem because there will always be someone who will collect the bags.
Does anyone see empty soda cans and bottles around anymore?
In 1950, Chicago's population peaked at about 3.6 million people. Since then, the city has lost nearly 1 million residents. Corruption, government bureaucracy, high taxes and a lack of a significant wealth-generating industry have all been cited as factors.
With its impending ban on plastic grocery and carryout bags — which includes a stiff fine on retailers found to be in violation of the ordinance — Los Angeles seems to be taking a page from the Chicago playbook. Added taxes, added fines and potential lost jobs are the consequences of surrendering to environmentalists.
L.A. County's unemployment rate is 9.3%. To drive that higher, the City Council should consider new taxes at restaurants, hotels and amusement parks. Of course, this isn't sensible. But who said City Hall is sensible?
While the new bag law is good medicine for this environmental plague, we need to do more. When will we end the menace of party balloons? Sending balloons skyward to end up in our ocean and on our beautiful beaches is bad medicine.
Are there no limits to the fatuous notion of keeping jobs at any environmental cost?
A gentleman quoted in the article complains about having to buy a reusable bag and that "it's not that expensive, but after a while it adds up."
Perhaps someone can explain the concept?
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