Plastic is better than alternatives
So now The Seattle Times falls for the cause-du-jour, the brave fight against plastic grocery bags. [“Editorial: Plastic bags should be on Legislature’s agenda,” Opinion, Sept. 11.]
Alas, there is no evidence that Seattle’s plastic bags are winding up in the ocean. But there is evidence presented by a study by the British government’s Environment Agency, that the alternatives to plastic bags do far more harm. This includes paper, cloth and biodegradable plastic, the latter made with cornstarch. All of them are much bigger contributors to environmental degradation than plastic, according to this study.
In the end, the urge to ban plastic bags winds up being one more bit of faux-environmentalist vanity from a city that loves to talk the talk but only rarely walks the walk.
Charles Pluckhahn, Seattle