Tuesday, December 22, 2009

An article in the Epoch Times by Sharon Guynup on 17 December hit a chord; it talked about plastic bags and how they are destroying our environment. Funny, I see lots of FIT students walking around with these and as long as they are convenient or slick looking, they have no problem using them and destroying our environment. They have no problem using cottong and doing the same, but that's another story.
Guynup writes that the "ubiquitous presence of these petroleum-based polymers has altered our body chemistry. Most of us carry plastic chemical in our tissues. Our children carry far higher concentrations. Many of these substances mimic or disrupt normal hormone function. Researchers have found altered genital development in baby boys whose mothers were exposed to phthalates during pregnancy...Three quarters of American infants carry measurable levels."
She goes on to note Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical used in clear plastic and canned food linings, as linked to type 2 diabetes, immune system disorders, abnormal penile development, and behavioural problems in toddlers. 93% 0f people tested by the US CDC had BDP in their urine.
But the American Chemistry Council lobbies against protection.
So next year, Guynup estimates, 300 million tons of dangerous plastics will be manufactured; enormous quantities of these will be dumped into the ocean. Much will go into landfill and leach into the soil.
A bit of good news in her piece is that Ireland has so heavily taxed the plastic bag that is has been basically axed. We might follow their lead; tax and axe.
What would we do instead of using plastic carrier bags? What people did for millenia before; they brought their own - I recall living in Istanbul in the '60s and I would go to the shops with a file - a string bag. These wore out ulitmately, but were cheap, and could be recycled into paper.
In London I developed the longer-lasting hemp bag, whilst trendy designers opted for the environmentally unfriendly cotton bag. That is better than plastic, but it too is a disaster, as we use too much cotton, and it is using up the water. It is also a monocrop and a tool in the hands of slimy global capitalists who pay low wages and exploit whole nations.
The hemp bag could be trendy too, it is just that I opted for a very basic model and was happy to go against the grain and use a grey, square bag to help conserve our resources. In Ireland and the UK there was demand for this. But sadly, here in New York, vile people would rather be trendy than make an effort to reduce waste and pollution. The mayor I especially loathe, he is the richest man in New York and takes the side of the rich. When, for instance, the UK taxed these ridiculous bankers' bonuses, he insisted that NY would not do that; let the rich get richer.
Me? If I were mayor I would tax every banker who used a plastic bag, at the rate of $10,000 per bag they used. Then I would use that money to develop hemp bags and phase out the plastic bags. This is not radical, or leftist, or socialist, or any of that; it is in fact quite conservative, it conserves our resources, protects our health.
All of which, of course, is a burden to the rich and trendy who sit here in NY setting a selfish and demonic tone and destroying our world.

1 comment:

Mark Ski said...

2013 is just around the corner and we are still using plastic bags.
Hemp string bags are the way to go, but no one could convince the trendies at the Guardian that they needed to listen to reason. Lucy Siegle and her crowd stonewalled that issue.