Surviving the plastic bag ban

leallan@tcsn.netOctober 1, 2012 

— Yesterday came and went on schedule. Oct. 1, 2012. The Earth didn’t stop spinning. It was Ban Those Plastic Bags Day.

Well, I did lose another of my constitutional rights: the freedom to pollute the Earth with those plastic bags I use for maybe 30 minutes between the grocery store and getting all the stuff home and into the refrigerator.

I’m glad the folks who handle our waste management countywide imposed the ban on those bags.

They took a lot of flak for that, and the pro-plastic groups are still in a dither over the loss of choice, even suggesting that Scolari’s closed down because of the plastic bag ban.

I think the county Integrated Waste Management Authority should have set the price of a paper bag higher than a dime.

I would have started with 25 cents. Because, you see, my record of using those cloth bags isn’t very good.

Like most families, we have two cars and finally enough cloth bags to never need paper or plastic. I don’t think we’re going to come down with any dreaded diseases hiding in those cloth containers.

We admittedly have a poor track record of actually remembering to take those bags into the store.

We need a little push. So my wife and I are willing to be gently forced to remember to take our cloth bags into the market.

I’m getting more and more tired of people saying we’re losing too many freedoms because of government “interference” at all levels.

I remember responding to a vehicle accident several years ago. It was a head-on collision, and the car was crushed in on the two adults in the front seat. But strapped into a baby carrier in the back seat was a tiny child, absolutely unhurt.

A government regulation saved that child. My children rolled around on the back seat when they were infants.

Another government regulation required those seat belts that probably saved the lives of the two adults in the front seat.

Prohibiting plastic bags. What next?

Will I have to endure some government worker inspecting the meat and poultry at a packing plant before it can be sent to an Atascadero grocery store?

There is a lot of intrusion into my life. I agree that some of it is bothersome. But I am probably more healthy and safe today because of it.

Lon Allan’s column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades, and his column appears weekly. Reach him at 466-8529 or

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