What Plastic Bag Problem?

The idea of banning plastic bags is no more than just a silly, ideologically driven but costly and inconvenient program to make “progressive” people feel better about themselves. Essentially, such a ban would be another example of a solution to a non-existent problem. I have lived in Santa Barbara for over 45 years and believe I have spent more time on the beach or on the ocean than the average citizen. I do not recall ever seeing a stray plastic bag. I probably have seen one but because it was one solitary bag and such a rare thing to see, I never considered it a problem. Furthermore, I have never seen any published report by local marine mammal, fisheries, or oceanography experts on finding troubling quantities of stray plastic bags in our environment. I am thinking this non-existent problem had its origins in the reports of the Pacific gyre, where it is claimed that huge amounts of plastic refuse is circling around the North Pacific and killing sea life. I have seen anecdotal photos and articles by scientists with agendas, but no reports or real research where for instance a net is dragged for 100 miles to see what is captured. I am also suspicious that the phony bag problem has something to do with the dreaded and much reviled substance from which the bags are produced: petroleum.

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