Californians have some good ideas as well as plenty of bad ideas. The state, founded upon an aggressive war which annexed the territory from Mexico, today has an economy larger than most nations; it has plenty of confidence and plenty of money and has wreaked plenty of environmental damage upon itself. It was such a lovely place, such a lovely place but is becoming an ugly place.
One of its good ideas is to stop pharmacies and grocery stores handing out plastic bags next summer, with convenience stores and alcohol stores doing the same the following year. Instead of giving away the bags the shops will have to charge a dime for each bag. It is hardly an earth mending initiative but every step, however small, that takes us a little closer to proper environmental protection has to be welcome.
The plastic bag manufacturers say that the initiative will cost jobs and it probably will cost them jobs and profit, but no doubt the paper bag makers and the makers of permanent cloth bags will find that they business will increase and the jobs they offer will also increase.
I suppose that we have to take steps like these slowly, or at least we perceive that we must. I would much prefer a complete ban on plastic bags and most plastic packaging. Almost all plastic packaging serves a marketing purpose primarily and the waste plastic fills our land fill sites, our rivers streams and oceans, floats on our ponds and spoils our parks. If jobs are really an issue with the ban there are plenty of jobs that need to be created cleaning up what humanity pollutes, but that is only profitable to our future generations, not to businesses and their owners who care not what damage they cause in their pursuit of the almighty dollar.