Bikes, bags and bad ideas
Okay, so I’m no Alfred Stiegltiz, but I think my “Still Life With Bags”, featuring just a few of my collection of shopping bags, speaks volumes about how I feel about Mayor Ford’s suggestion that the five-cent levy on plastic bags should be repealed. Why on earth would anyone want to encourage the use of plastic bags, which are made from petroleum, which — unless you’re a climate change denier — should convince you that it makes sense to use fewer of them?
Charging for them does make a difference; recent news suggests that chains who charge have seen plastic bag consumption drop by as much as 50 per cent. We could still do better. Canadians still carry home about 55 million of the things each year, according to Environment Canada. And for some sad, but telling, anecdotal evidence, consider this: on the few times I’ve forgotten to take the proverbial poo bag when walking with my dog in the park, I never panic. I simply mosey over to the nearest fence or garden edge, where I’ll be sure to find plastic bags of all sorts and sizes nestled among the barnacles of detritus that collects there.
Not only are my reusable bags better for the environment, but I find that many of the plastic bags now given out are made of flimsy material. So the last time I got caught short and tried to carry some oranges in one, the bag ripped, spilling the contents across the sidewalk. This was unfortunate for many reasons, not the least of which being that small children passing by at the time were unwittingly treated to some good old Anglo-Saxon cursing .
My totes also work better when I occasionally have to hang them on the handles of my bike, a device which — being a left-wing kook — I do use in clement weather. And finally, darling, there’s the question of style. Think you not that my totes are beaucoup plus chic than a plain-Jane shopping bag?
So, Mayor Ford, no more suggestions that we repeal the levy. Because it’s just plain silly.