Plastic bags: Another useless green moral panic

All societies are susceptible to moral panics, whether they be about ?juvenile delinquents?, Dungeons and Dragons or video games. The green-left middle-classes are no less susceptible to, and every bit as fanatically puritanical about ill-informed moral panics.

The great moral panic du jour of the watermelon bourgeoisie is plastic. Particularly plastic bags. Quote:

I have lately found myself feeling nostalgic about the plastic supermarket shopping bag?For those with short memories, the bags were made of very thin plastic, issued, at one time for free, as receptacles for groceries. All major supermarkets have jettisoned them in recent months before new rules take effect in July banning the bags. End of quote.

The most egregious misinformation of this moral panic is that plastic bags are ?single use?. They may have been ?single use? for the provider, but for the user, they had many uses. Quote:

They’ve been great for holding wet towels and smelly running gear, for providing a wrap for leaky containers with the leftovers of last night’s red curry and being a useful receptacle for mussel shells and other odorous remnants. Mrs VB always had a few plastic shopping bags in our beach things so that she could pick rubbish off the beach while I lounged in the sun.

And they were reusable. Incredibly, they were just the right size for lining the kitchen rubbish container and had handy handles for easy removal. The bags were also good for collecting pine cones for the fire and horse manure and seaweed for the garden. End of quote.

But, in the dogmatic world of self-righteous greens, if you use a plastic bag, you?re a monster who might as well be picking up a baby seal and bashing its head out on a rock. Quote:

That is not to say I am not a strong advocate of looking after the environment.

I have always been a keen recycler, compost maker, public transport user and waste minimiser. But I sort of think banning plastic bags is like fighting a raging bush fire with a garden hose.

I don’t wish to diminish any individual effort to reduce pollution because moves towards big changes start with small steps. But if environmental devastation is as close as the experts say, only drastic changes are going to do the trick.

Those changes will involve such fundamental alterations to our lifestyles that putting our shopping in reusable bags will seem like token gestures. End of quote.

Because that?s exactly what it is.

The point of it is, not to do anything useful for the environment, but to bully and browbeat the public into acquiescing to watermelon zealotry. Quote:

You saw it with smoking bans, crackdowns on drink driving and gay marriage. At a certain point society will stop resisting changes that previously were unthinkable.

Soon, I think, we will be slightly embarrassed if we eat red meat, wear clothes not made in approved factories, drive fossil fuel-powered cars and don’t have solar panels on our houses?I can see the milk truck stopping at the end of the street soon with people coming out to fill their flasks and bottles. Muesli and porridge oats will soon come in their own recyclable containers. End of quote.

Which probably sounds exciting if you?re the sort of nutbag who actually gets excited about tofurkey and vegan ice-cream, but to the rest of us, it sounds like authoritarian misery.

And completely pointless: because Western nations aren?t the culprits when it comes to plastic. 90% of plastic in the oceans comes from Asia and Africa. Quote:

The great conglomerations of plastic waste floating around in the oceans do not come from New Zealand or Australia. We have stopped cutting down our native forests, unlike poorer and more corrupt countries. We are hardly the industrial powerhouses like United States, China and Western Europe that belch out the majority of the world’s carbon?We can be an example to the world but that tends to be expensive. End of quote.


It?s only ever about costly, useless virtue-signalling.