What Seattle’s Bag Ban Means to Plastic Purists

Sure, the Northwest Grocer’s Association supports Seattle’s recent vote, but that’s just a cover-up of the truth: an ongoing attack on American ideals. And, of course, the powers that be say the 5¢ tax imposed on paper bags will only encourage folks to bring reusable bags and improve upon one of the nation’s highest paper recycling rates (currently at 85%).

It’s alarming that Seattle isn’t the first city in the nation to implement such an egregious policy — not even the first city in Washington! If one of the nation’s most prominent green cities isn’t the setting the example, who is?

Edmonds, Bellingham and Mukilteo all beat Washington State’s largest, shiniest city to the punch by passing bans on thin-film plastic shopping bags. Ever heard of those places? Few outside of the state have. But this only scratches the surface of the frightful reality.

The first nation in the world to punish its populous with draconian bag bans and taxes was Bangladesh in 2002. Within the same year, Ireland caved and slapped citizens with a tax. Later, Australia followed suit by calling for a voluntary ban. All of this, of course, was in the misguided attempt to promote marine life and mitigate environmental damage.

Now America is modeling policy after other nations? How ludicrous! Half our nation can’t even name the capitals of these countries. Sure, Ireland gave the world Guinness, but even that was more than 250 years ago.

What about the worker dependent on the flawless plastic bag industry? The beach garbage grabber? The landfill filler? The beauty of plastic bags is that an overwhelming super majority of us use and dispose of them daily. How will society cope without such an integral piece of the economic web of life? In fact, because of the perfection of the plastic bag and other once-used detritus mankind has only started to achieve its penultimate purpose: creating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Unimaginable volumes of plastic bag usage helped manifest the sublime swirling vortex of waste residing in the Pacific Ocean. The selfless behavior of all of us offered uncountable pieces of plastics and other debris now endlessly circulating the globe. It’s a uniting project that all humankind can take pride in. Any lesser creation is subject to decompose, but not the plastics in the Garbage Patch.

Allure rises from the fact that all the plastics swirling in the Garbage Patch simply break down into smaller and smaller pieces. Plastics never loose their chemical makeup. Instead of decomposing, our contribution to the ocean offers each member of the aquatic food chain delicious, bite-sized plastic morsels. Without plastic bags, how is humankind supposed to leave a lasting gift for the earth? Sadly, not just our gifts to the planet are threatened by such legislation as that in Seattle.

The most terrifying reality now is the inevitable tumbling of Homo sapiens down the pyramid of evolution. Without plastic bags, we can no longer combat nature’s most menacing predators: whales and kittens.

For years denizens of coastal areas have fought the blood-thirst of whales by dumping ever-growing amounts of garbage into the waterways. This strategy was again proven effective, as a gray whale recently washed ashore in the Puget Sound, dead. Confirming what many had suspected, an autopsy revealed the whale had ingested dozens of plastic bags, which was deemed the cause of death.

Another story tells of how a bleeding-heart sap freed a ferocious kitten from being trapped inside a plastic bag, ultimately saving its life.

Without plastic bags, would we read stories like these? America would cease to be truly American. Our economy would suffer, our pride would suffer and our seat atop the world’s power structure would suffer. Without plastic bags, we’d be no better than the animals we feed them to and trap them in.

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