Sunday, September 02, 2012

My First Encounter With HAVING To Pay 10c For A Paper Bag

My fair hometown of Pasadena, California has a ban on stores providing plastic bags to its customers.
This was a simple city ordinance passed last year that officially took effect this past July.
One of the effects of this legislation is that stores now charge 10c for a paper bag.
Wait, I thought that the city of Pasadena wants to ban plastic bags?! I get that. But why are retailers charging 10c for paper bags?
Well, I have not had to personally encounter this indignity first hand until today.
That is because Mrs. RVFTLC always has a trunk full of reusable bags for all of our shopping needs. On those occasions when we shop together, she dutifully gets what she thinks that she will need for where ever we are. Not that she does not hear me rail against this over reacting, feel-good ordinance that is in a word stupid.
But today, as Mrs. RVFTLC is away visiting our son until next week, I decdided to use my gift card at Barnes & Noble to get a book that I have been wanting for a while. The gift card was a gift from my son. A great kid, yet very misguided politically.
So, since the Barnes & Noble is nearby the RVFTLC bunker, I figured I would ride my bike to the store. In reality it would be faster than walking and really faster than driving. That is a whole nuther post.
I rode down, looking like a great environmentalist. Except not wearing a turd helmet. I have a skateboarder helmet. There is another post. After dutifully locking up the bike and helmet, I went in and looked around. I knew the book that I wanted. But I looked around and tried finding the book. After walking by it  a few times, I finally looked in the right direction and my conspiracy theory of buring conservative books went out the window. So I picked up Dennis Prager's latest epic, "Still The Best Hope" and proceeded to the check register.
Of course I was oblivious but I did notice the gal in front of me not taking her books she purchased in a bag.
Then it dawned on me.
I should have heeded the words of my great friend and brother about the plastic bag ban.
And when the gal behind the counter asked if I wanted a bag, I realized that I would. And that will be 10c. I did not argue at all. It is not these people to take anything out on. They are doing their job. But I did ask the all important question.
Who gets the 10c that you (the company) are charging?
She answered the same way every clerk has done before. She did not know. But she did humorously add that she did not really care to find out as it was her last week at that establishment. I proceeded to raise my hand and said "Say no more! And good luck!"
I took my very large paper tote bag, much larger than I needed, and went on my way running a couple of errands on the way home.
With bag in hand.
Now that was so much humiliating as it was infuriating.
We always reuse plastic bag in RVFTLC manor. We do have two dogs and they poop a lot. There is also trash cans in our bathrooms that we often use the plastic bag as a liner. In other words, we don't just bring the bag home and throw it away. We are doing our job in recycling out bags.
But the hysteria and this push to make our fair burg a "green" city is what is driving such trivial and anti-business measure.
It used to be going to the market and the box boy or girl would ask "paper or plastic?" offering a choice to the consumer. Now in my town, it is "have your reusable bag or its gonna cost you 10c a bag".
And the environazis figure that people will tire of paying the 10c bag charge and be good little citizens and make sure to have their damn reusable bags. Or that there are enough that will not care because it is more convenient to fork over a little extra to not have to keep the reusable bags around.
See, these people do not live in the real world.
A lot of people have to fit shopping in to their schedules. For whatever reason. And sometimes, they do not have the time or are actually washing the reusable bags. In other words, they are living their lives. For some of these people, yeah it is more inconvenient to take the time to make sure that they have their precious, life-saving reusable bag.
But at a level it is our fault as those that do not like this government over reach and slapping yet another impediment on business that this has happened. We did not attend the city council meetings. We did not voice our objections in a loud enough manner. We let it happen.
It is what these folks hope from us. Little opposition. If there is, call them out as some whack job because they do not care about the environment.
I do believe in conservation but not environmentalism. There is a real difference, folks.
But no matter.
I just better remember to take my back pack with me everywhere in town just in case I don't have a reusable bag.

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