James A. Humphrey: Plastic or poop
July 22, 2007
Steamboat Springs — In Mike Lawrence’s column (Paper or : paper? July 11 Steamboat Today), he raises the question of whether plastic bags should be banned. He quotes City Council President Susan Dellinger, who said reducing the use of plastic bags would be a step forward for Steamboat’s environmental efforts. While that may be true, what would replace the plastic bags? No concrete and practical suggestion was offered either in this article or by Susan Dellinger. Paper was suggested, but paper bags in lieu of plastic bags would create just another problem since the making of paper bags would create its own environmental problems, not to speak of the millions of trees needed to make all those paper bags.
Not mentioned in Mike Lawrence’s article nor by Susan Dellinger is the wide use of plastic bags by pet owners in Steamboat to pick up their animal droppings to remove what could certainly be hundreds of such droppings every day. If plastic bags were outlawed, I wonder how happy Susan Dellinger would be if instead of picking up discarded plastic bags, she was forced to dodge one animal dropping after another. The city seems to recognize the usefulness of plastic bags. It has already placed containers in each park for said bags to be used by animal lovers for the obvious purpose.
Before our City Council or any other governmental agency goes forward with a ban on plastic bags, let them come up with a real, meaningful alternative for their multiple uses: 1) carrying purchases at Wal-Mart, Safeway and City Market; and 2) being used by pet owners to pick up and dispose of their animal’s droppings each and every day of the year.
James A. Humphrey