Martin C. Winer Archives

Reusable plastic bags save nothing but our conscience, argues Martin Winer welcomes guest editorialist Martin Winer and his following commentary on plastic bag levies. Contact if you wish to submit a guest editorial.

“Would you like any bags sir?” the obnoxiously gum chewing, Lululemon athletic apparel bedecked cashier asked. “Yes, I’ll have two please.” She frowned disapprovingly through her gum chewing as to suggest “why don’t you just choke a pacific albatross to death? It’s faster.” If I subscribed to the latest internet fads, Facebook and Twitter (which I don’t) I’d know that this season, Lululemon is hot, and plastic bags are not. The cashier mercilessly tacked on a 10 cent levy to my bill for my environmental trespass, tossed aside my bags -- me along with them -- and addressed her next customer: a Lululemon toting trendy mother of 2.2 children.

“And how many bags would you like?” The woman straightened herself up with perfect yoga posture and proudly announced “none” as she passed her box of bottled water and juice boxes through the scanner. She placed down her cardboard Starbucks coffee cup with the added cardboard insulator to ensure she didn’t burn her well manicured hands in order to pay the bill. She produced a ‘tap-able’ credit card which didn’t require a signature, just a quick tap and she was on her way. Her, up until recently well behaved, children were starting to act up as they had finished their Styrofoam containers of McDonalds’ McChicken bits. She tore into the plastic rapping holding the juice boxes together, freed the plastic straws from their plastic wrappers and gave her children some more carbohydrates to keep them calm.

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